Re: Is the revolution starting?
- Subject: Re: Is the revolution starting?
- From: Will Tanzman <HereticUU@AOL.COM>
- Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 21:31:05 EDT
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Although this article was good because it brought attention to the issue,
the perspective was definitely disappointing. It refers to overwhelming
pressure as the only reason a group of students and I failed the IGAP.
Newsweek talked to four Chicago Public School students, including myself, and
we spent five or ten minutes out of an hour-long interview discussing stress.
We failed the test because standardized tests interfere with real education
and take focus off the important problems in the system. The fact that this
condescending characterization is common to almost all the articles and
stories that mention our protest shows something about the way society and
the media feel about students' opinions.
Everybody in power seems to think we are the products churned out by
public education instead of its consumers. Most of the reporters who have
written or spoken about us have treated us as novelties to be photographed
and breifly mentioned, often characterizing us as "martyrs" to educational
reforms whose worst consequence is increased pressure. Our actual ideology
is irrelevant in the face of the prejudices of reporters and editors. Our
unique perspective as active participants in education is ignored.
These attitudes show just how important it is for students to speak out
about education policy. We are the ones most directly affected by increased
standardization of curriculum and abuse of standardized tests. However, the
vast majority of students have no idea of their power. The movement in
Chicago has already made a big statement and is continuing to work for
increased involvement. If anybody on this listserv knows people attending
public schools, I strongly encourage him or her to discuss these issues with
those students. Students visibly rising up against policies of excessive
standardized testing can show the public that something is wrong with the
system, and if we can change public opinion, the politicians have to follow.
Organized Students of Chicago
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