Thursday, October 03, 2013

An event with both FairTest's Monty Neill, and MAP boycott organizer Jesse Hagopian? Yes!

A recent fact sheet from FairTest challenges some of the myths about the coming Common Core tests:

Myth: Common Core tests will be much better than current exams, with many items measuring higher-order skills.
Reality: New tests will largely consist of the same old, multiple-choice questions.

Proponents initially hyped new assessments that they said would measure – and help teachers promote – critical thinking. In fact, the exams will remain predominantly multiple choice. Heavy reliance on such items continues to promote rote teaching and learning. Assessments will generally include just one session of short performance tasks per subject. Some short-answer and “essay” questions will appear, just as on many current state tests... The prominent Gordon Commission of measurement and education experts concluded Common Core tests are currently “far from what is ultimately needed for either accountability or classroom instructional improvement purposes” (Gordon Commission, 2013).

Jesse Hagopian, a teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle, will describe how he and his colleagues decided to embark on a risky boycott of a mandated standardized test that was to be used as part of their evaluations, how they gained national support, and how they won.  Here's an interview with Jesse from Democracy Now!  As the Garfield teachers wrote in their boycott statement:

"We are not troublemakers nor do we want to impede the high functioning of our school. We are professionals who care deeply about our students and cannot continue to participate in a practice that harms our school and our students. We want to be able to identify student growth and determine if our practice supports student learning. We wish to be evaluated in a way so that we can continue to improve our practice. The MAP test is not the way to do any of these things. We feel strongly that we must decline to give the MAP test even one more time."
Hope you can join us to hear from Monty, Jesse, and our other amazing panelists tomorrow night!

Teaching for Liberation or Teaching to the Test?
Thursday, October 3rd from 6-8pm

UTLA auditorium at 3303 Wilshire Blvd. 
Refreshments and childcare will be provided.

Featured speakers include:

  • Jesse Hagopian, a leader of the Seattle testing boycott
  • Maday Martinez-Molina, student activist from the Schools LA Students Deserve Campaign
  • Martha Ramirez and Stephany Ortiz, student activists with the Politics and Pedagogy Collective
  • Cathy Garcia, formerly of Crenshaw High, activist in Progressive Educators for Action
  • and Monty Neil from FairTest, a national organization that fights against unfair high-stakes testing
Here are some links with more information on each of the panelists and a flyer to invite others to this event:

Politics and Pedagogy Collective:

Jesse Hagopian, a leader of the successful Seattle teachers' boycott against the MAP test:

Monty Neil of FairTest - an organization that fights against unfair high-stakes testing:

Cathy Garcia formerly of Crenshaw High School:  and PEAC:

Schools LA Students Deserve Campaign:
Sponsored by Progressive Educators for Action, Coalition for Educational Justice, The Schools LA Students Deserve Coalition, Politics and Pedagogy Collective, and the Union Power Coalition. 


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