Wednesday, December 11, 2013
New York City Council Declares Opposition to the Majority of Murders
FromEd Week, followed by my comment:
The New York City Council has passed a resolution asking state officials to replace high-stakes standardized tests with multiple measures that collectively gauge student achievement.
The city council's education committee approved Resolution 1394 on Monday, and the full council approved it Tuesday by a vote of 49-0, according to a staff member in Councilmember Robert Jackson's office.
The resolution was written by a group of national organizations last year and has been circulated since then as a model piece of legislation to revamp current testing regimens.
Posted on the websites of such groups as Time Out From Testing and the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, the resolution has been endorsed by more than 18,000 individuals and 570 organizations, including the National Education Association and local school boards (you can see who signed it here).
New York City activists are hoping that the testing skepticism expressed by incoming Mayor Bill DeBlasio gives them reason for hope that the city's current testing program will be overhauled.
You can see the language of the entire resolution online, with its list of "whereas" statements that lay out the reasons for the action. But the action paragraph reads like this:
"The Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Education Department, the New York State Legislature, and the Governor to reexamine public school accountability systems and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which do not require extensive standardized testing."
11:57 AM on December 11, 2013
I think the Council's actions represent the moral equivalent of declaring that most murder should be outlawed or that we should have a limited amount of legalized slavery. Until high stakes testing, which is both racist and classist in its historical origins and current practice, is eradicated, sane and humane schools remain an entirely unrealized ethical imperative.