March 17, 2015
Schools across the country are seeing a rise in protest against the overuse of standardized tests in public education. From teachers who boycott the tests to parents and students who “opt out” of taking them, resistance to excessive testing has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years–and this spring looks like it will bring a new high score of resistance.
Jesse Hagopian is a teacher at Seattle’s Garfield High School and editor of the book More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High Stakes Testing. In 2013, Hagopian and his fellow teachers at Garfield organized a historic boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test that boosted the profile of the movement nationwide. Hagopian talked to about the state of the struggle this year as schools head into testing season.
You can’t build an education system on a foundation of justice if you’re deporting undocumented children and their families, and you can’t build a system of justice when you have tax policies that favor the wealthy and a criminal justice system that incarcerates unprecedented numbers of African Americans and other people of color.
So I think we need to look to political alternatives that both support public education and see it in the context of the broader social issues facing our country.