Re: Teacher won't administer CSAP tests
- Subject: Re: Teacher won't administer CSAP tests
- From: David Blomstrom <GeoBear@GEOBOP.COM>
- Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 07:59:55 -0800
- In-reply-to: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
"Give the man a break! He's risking his career, his livelihood, his
stability, his sanity to do something that not only draws attention to the
problem-- he's drawing it in a BIG way. It's all fine and good for folks to
'sit' on this email list and pontificate about educational theory (which
generally sounds more like eduspeak than the test proponents themselves and
is no better at explaining why tests are BAD than the test-advocates
blahbidiblah is at explaining why testing is GOOD)-- but this man, and
others like him, have actually DONE something other than talk. So he's not
setting up a both at the local fair-- hell, he's taking a personal stand
with personal costs and that's a helluvalot more moving than a pamphlet."
I didn't think the post you're responding to was out of line, even it was
less than enthusiastic. But every teacher who refuses to administer tests
DOES accomplish something and SHOULD be praised nationwide as a hero. I'd
like to know the story behind the Washington State teacher who filed a
lawsuit over the WASL, then promptly caved in. Was she only looking an
out-of-court settlement to begin with, or was she squashed by supernatural
forces that we can only wonder at? (I've seen the attorney who was hired to
nail her in action; he's a Seattle Schools superstar that even other
lawyers call a "whore.")
Let's face it, there's no single strategy that's going to conquer the
education mafia. Here are a several that can help:
1) Teachers refuse to administer tests.
2) Teachers go out on strike (though I would hope high-stakes tests aren't
the ONLY issue they focus on)
3) Parents refuse to participate.
4) Teachers and/or parents file lawsuits over tests.
5) Public protests
6) Student protests and walkouts
7) Anti-testing buttons, decals, logos, etc., including designs worn on
shirts and pasted or painted on books.
8) Media exposure (letters to the editor, editorials, etc.)
9) Protesting via chatboards and e-mail. Though chatboards can be really
sloppy, I think posters who are tenacious and intelligent CAN make a
10) Websites that accurately document the problem and are linked together
to form a national web.
11) Focusing on the big picture - Let people know that high-stakes tests
are just the beginning of what the corporate establishment has in store for
us if we don't wake up.
12) Sliming Legislators - Get personal, and get dirty! They have names, and
they have opinions on high-stakes tests. If they refuse to tell you where
they stand, then consider them guilty and roast them mercilessly.
13) Sliming corporations - Let's face it, they're at the root of this
nonsense. If you can't figure out if a particular corporation specifically
promotes high-stakes tests, and they refuse to tell you, or if they
privately tell you it's a bad idea but won't take a public stand (even
though they're active involved in education, then go after them. For
example, I don't believe I've ever heard Bill Gates' name mentioned in
connection with high-stakes tests. But he does "contribute" many millions
of dollars to public education - money with strings attached. And he did
create the K-12 "Leadership Institute," a collection of education derelicts
that obviously exist as a giant propaganda effort. My message is this: If
Bill Gates wants to exploit public education for good public relations
(buying a service), then he had an obligation to tackle some of the bad
14) Running for public office and including opposition to high-stakes tests
as an issue.
15) Civil Disobedience
Let me expand on websites... If we had thirteen new websites with unique
domain names that were all listed in Yahoo and other search engines under
titles that flamed high-stakes tests, that would let the world know that
this is an issue people care about. It doesn't have to be an enormous
website; a single page with a provocative title and some really pertinent
facts and links is a valuable contribution.
My website has never gotten tons of traffic, but I just remind myself that
I'm talking about education reform in a nation full of apathetic, clueless
idiots. The goal should be QUALITY, not quantity. Just this morning, I
received an e-mail from a parent asking when I'm going to update my
principals page, as they want the information when they choose a high school.
And let me expand on running for public office... It's far easier than you
might imagine! Nor is it necessarily as sleazy as you might think. I ran
the nastiest campaign in Washington State history, but I didn't feel sleazy
in the least, because I spoke the truth. To my surprise, I got virtually no
hate mail or prank calls, partly because people really don't care about
education reform. If you have to pay a $1,000 filing fee, then just recruit
100 people who will chip in $10 each. After that, you can work as hard as
you want. I did virtually all of my campaigning on my website. I added and
refined tons of information and documented the establishment's shameless
manipulation of the campaign, leaving an online reference for future campaigns.
A national web of militant teachers' and parents' websites and a flurry of
INTELLIGENT and gutsy political campaigns WILL make a difference.
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