Friday, February 27, 2015

And What A Healthy Thing That Is!

"The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love. When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe." ~Mister Rogers

Earlier this week, we learned that Seattle's Nathan Hale High School Senate, a body made up of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, voted almost unanimously to refuse to administer the new Common Core test to 11th graders. As Jesse Hagopian writes over on his blog I Am An Educator (click through for the Senate's full written statement): 

In taking this action, Nathan Hale has become the latest focal point of what has now become the largest ongoing revolt against high-stakes testing in U.S. history and an important new escalation in the national resistance to common core testing.

Last year it was Seattle's Garfield High School community that rose up against standardized testing, refusing to take or administer a particularly worthless standardized test. High schoolers in Santa Fe have walked out, with the support of parents teachers. Teachers and parents at a Chicago elementary school are refusing to subject their children to a high stakes test. 

And there have been other protests, but as far as I know, this Nathan Hale action is the first time students, parents, teachers and administrators have come together and flat-out refused to administer a test required by the Common Core national curriculum. This is a courageous act, one that likely will put funding in jeopardy and risk other punitive consequences, but this is the winning coalition: students, parents, teachers, and now administrators. Just as the Garfield walkout spurred a wave of justifiable action across the country, I expect this will as well.

When things we care about deeply are endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! 

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