Thursday, March 7, 2013

In Support of the Planned Student Test Walkout in Colorado

There is a national movement against high stakes testing, which reminds me very much of the movement against the Vietnam War, which I was part of when I was a student. The first people who joined protests were severely criticized because there was no precedent in recent history for protesting a War, but as the full damage that was being done there started to come out, more and more people joined. That is what is happening with testing. It is squeezing the life out of public education, and putting huge profits in the hands of those producing the tests. The students participating in these actions will be hailed around the nation for their courage, and will ultimately be recognized in their own communities as pioneers and heroes. You may doubt my words, but remember I am an historian and have seen the actions of a  small number of dedicated individuals change the course of history. Remember those four students who sat down at the lunch counters of Greensboro and asked to be served?  Within a year, there were tens of thousands of people joining them in more than 30 southern towns and cities.  Your actions could provide a similar spark in a nation where testing in every grade and every subject is being imposed in our schools by people ill equipped to understand the damaging consequences because they excluded teachers and student's voices

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