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[Xmca-l] Re: Opt-out movement

Here in the NYC area it is now a large and quickly growing, as well as a
diverse, parent movement.

I am generally pessimistic, despite the time I have chosen to devote to
this movement, but there are three very good things to come out of it

The children see their parents and teachers fighting back, together,
because we care about them here and now -- we are present with them in
their daily lives, not telling them what will be good for them when they
grow up.

May children enjoy joining the fight.  Their tactics are very interesting,
worth us thinking about, even if they are also funny.  A huge march I went
to this weekend had a sign that said: "Quomo, end testing, eat fresh Pizza."

The teachers I work with, no matter what their schools are allowing them to
do, feel deeply respected and supported by this movement, during this time
when most of them are wondering whether or not they can remain in their
chosen profession.

Some of the NYC teachers are also opting their students out without the UFT
or parents' support, just risking their jobs for their students, and while
this cannot be widespread it creates empowering stories that
intergenerational groups enjoy telling and retelling.

In NYC we find out on Wed. if students getting higher scores one year to
the next, on the tests, will now be the primary criteria for firing
teachers.  We'll also find out if all schools of education with teaching
candidates who do not pass the new Pearson teacher exams (results are back
and almost the only teacher candidates passing identify as white) will be
closed down by Cuomo in three semesters.

Du Bois was writing about this, it's not new, and there is also probably
little we can do to change the tide, but at least in NY things may look
very different for public schools preK-graduate school within a few short

We'll see if Cuomo's budget passes on April fools day,


On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:48 AM, Peter Farruggio <pfarruggio@utpa.edu>

> Yes, it's still unsafe for teachers to boycott the tests in most places,
> although the local teachers union in Seattle coordinated such an action
> last year. But the opt out movement is led by parents, certainly with
> teachers supporting it in the background, and it has blossomed this testing
> season. Certain administrators have been using bullying tactics, including
> outright violations of parents' rights; but the resistance to incessant
> testing will continue to grow as parents organize and coordinate their
> actions nationwide. Education is and always has been political, and the
> politics have become harsher with the neoliberal push to privatize schools
> and everything else.
> Teachers can and must play a role in defending democratic education, and
> that means helping to stop the testing madness. The best thing they can do
> at this point is to find ways to educate parents about what is at stake and
> how to exercise their parental rights. If that means conducting clandestine
> informational meetings in church basements, so be it.
> See below
> http://unitedoptout.com/
> http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=5528&section=Article
> http://fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out
> Pete Farruggio, PhD
> Associate Professor, Bilingual Education
> University of Texas Pan American
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
> Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2015 11:04 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Opt-out movement
> This is related to the other thread since one of my initial responses to
> the comments there was: As teachers, why not just stop paying attention to
> all the testing and do the stuff that we know really matters?
> Here is one answer for why not:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08ntklteK_c&annotation_id=54833ffb-0000-2b41-a517-001a11c17db2&feature=iv&src_vid=JM1ddULfdhU
> It is a video about a school in Chicago where 75% of the students opted
> out of taking a standardized test and the fallout that followed.
> Scary.
> -greg
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson

Beth Ferholt
Assistant Professor
Department of Early Childhood and Art Education
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889

Email: bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Phone: (718) 951-5205
Fax: (718) 951-4816