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Re: Curious - about FairTest



It has been days I have been away and am now poring over old posts -- my how fast the discussions shift and change.

Anyway, in response to Margaret:

FairTest initiated ARN, we staff it to the extent it is staffed at all, we developed and maintain the email lists, we maintain the state contact list, etc. ARN mainly is a self-perpetuating and self-selected group of people, some from and representing groups or organizations, combatting standardized testing and its harmful impacts. Some do so as part of other issues, some focus mainly on tests. Local folks develop their own materials, actions, ideas, strategies, etc -- and share them so we can learn from each other. ARN is thus primarily a network, a discussion space, rather than an organization. On a couple of times we have shared with the state coordinators a suggested position closely involved with opposing standardized tests to get agreement on the use of the name ARN.

So, in response to the more specific questions:

1) There is no reason not to make connections to other issues in your efforts to improve things -- for example, standardized dress codes and standardized tests.

2) In linking to other things, you should not indicate that <the ARN> endorses it -- rather, your local group should be behind these connections among issues. In other words, be cautious in the use of the ARN name so as not to imply that ARN itself supports particular positions that it has not explicitly said it does. To say you are also connected with ARN is of course fine.

3) FairTest is a different situation. We definitely do not want our name as endorsing things we have not endorsed. We are an organization, not a network. We of course appreciate referring people to us and connecting to us.

The wording that FairTest is bringing people together through the ARN is I think appropriate and true -- tho at this point it is also true that people are bringing each other together through the ARN. One activist remarked that FairTest is like the hub of the wheel and activists are the spokes. I replied that I appreciated the compliment, but that this is also a wheel in which many spokes do not go through the hub.

Lastly, I would not want FairTest associated with the cartoon because of the gun. That is not a personal consideration, it is organizational. I cannot tell from the message you sent whether the graphic is part of the one piece, in which case I hope you will not use it as it is. If the graphic is clearly separate, that is your business. I like the strength of it, but think it is not necessarily a political posture to take right now.

Hope that is clear enough. Be well, Monty



-----Original Message-----
From: Margaret Davis <margd@FLASH.NET>
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2002 1:52 PM
Subject: Curious


Dear ARN:

What does FairTest offer us? We can join the discussion group but do they offer us anything other than information? Does FairTest have a card we can give to people linking us together thru the Assessment Reform Network? There's not a membership obligation to participate on the ARN which I appreciate very much cuz I'm being pumped for everything i can scrape together as it is. And truly the membership in all these other organizations I am a member of merely talk about it. I've seen very little direct action...(except for Barry Lynn with AU) very little pressure on the representatives who are making policy. Is FairTest a lobby organization or do you lobby the lobbyist? How are you reaching the Representatives who are passing these abusive policies?

Yes... I want the mere idea of mandatory school uniforms by any other name in public education abolished. I'm NOT going to abandon my stance and effort in this area in order to Stand against High Stakes Testing. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A STANDARD CHILD. and that button covers both the issues since TEXAS is perfecting how to circumvent the LAW on School Uniforms by calling that Rose by another name STANDARDIZED DRESS. If it looks like sh*^ and it smells like sh*^ you don't have to taste it to know it's sh*^.

I also stand against High Stakes Testing and am doing my part to stand with the very few TEXANS willing to make ourselves obvious in this regard. I will pass out buttons to get the message out....but would like to know if FairTest opposes me handing out cards along with these buttons linking us together. OR... if you want this group exclusively for the Higher educated upper echelon? I would like clarification please...

And if it would be alright with the organization if i handed out cards say similar to this one below? and would like to know what kind of logo to include. I was especially drawn to this one:



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DEMOCRACY

FairTest
bringing people together
thru the
Assessment Reform Network

http://www.fairtest.org/