With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SOS follow up -- More protests, boycotts needed

Fair Test's Monty Neill offers some suggestions to states trying to deal with Duncan's Law. In a column posted today at WaPo's Answer Sheet, Neill calls on states to refuse Arne Duncan's self-legislated waivers.
If they accept the deal, states will lock in ever more counter-productive educational practices based on the misuse of test scores, including linking teacher evaluation to student scores. Those policies could be hard to dislodge should Congress decide not to endorse Duncan’s “Blueprint” when it eventually does reauthorize the federal law.
Monty also calls for more protests against the testing madness in the wake of the July 30th Save Our Schools march and rally by thousands of teachers in D.C.
Last month’s Save Our Schools march, coupled with widespread anger across the nation, was a good start. But it will take a lot more. Organizing town meetings to clearly express opposition and build effective resistance is one valuable tool. (For others, see http://www.fairtest.org/seven-ways-work-nclb-reform.) Boycotts have brought down testing regimes in Japan and England. Unions also will have to step up to support more effective forms of resistance, forms that can lead to cutting back on testing, helping instead of punishing schools, and installing educationally beneficial forms of accountability (see http://www.edaccountability.org). 
Monty's call should stoke some fires within the post-march SOS' new interim leadership team. With elections on the horizon, how is the time to begin organizing the next round of protests.  It's also the best way to begin local organizing for this newly-seeded organization.

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