Saturday, June 21, 2014

Is a High Stakes Moratorium Worth Embracing? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Is a High Stakes Moratorium Worth Embracing? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:



Is a High Stakes Moratorium Worth Embracing?

Yesterday I carried a guest post by John Thompson which suggested we ought to accept as an olive branch the recent concession by the Gates Foundation, which hascalled for a two year moratorium on high stakes consequences for Common Core tests. We who have been building a movement to resist high stakes testing and the privatization of public education are facing a novel challenge - a small success!
This should not be too great a shock, as unfamiliar as it is.  Movements for social change are often met with a combination of tactics designed to diffuse, distract and mollify. When a movement grew strong against the Vietnam War in 1968, presidential candidate Nixon announced he had a "secret plan" to end the war. Nonsense, of course, but it helped quiet the anti-war movement for a bit, and after he was elected the war raged on for six more years.
The movement against high stakes testing and corporate reforms has had a few victories in recent months. The Common Core tests have been a disaster in New York, compounded by official arrogance and unwillingness to respond to protest. The Gates Foundation's $100 million data warehouse inBloom collapsed as a result of parental concerns about student privacy. This coming Thursday, there will be a teacher-led protest at the Gates Foundation's headquarters in Seattle (disclosure - I will be among the speakers at this event.) Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka defeated a heavily funded rival in Newark, New Jersey, where corporate-style education reform was a top issue.
The response from the Gates Foundation needs to be looked at carefully. Does this mean that, as NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen suggests, they are looking at the evidence, and are truly Is a High Stakes Moratorium Worth Embracing? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

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