A couple of weeks ago Citizen Stewart wrote that he was having trouble shutting his mind off after writing, in “Painting Education the Whitest Shade of Pale,"about Diane Ravitch's celebration when AFT President Randi Weingarten jumped on the opt-out bandwagon.
The majority of black parents support higher standards like the Common Core, as well as assessments linked to those standards, like PARCC and Smarter Balanced, Citizen notes. But here we have the white power couple “publicly calling for the purposeful corrupting of data gathering our institutions do to understand if children are on track in school. Call it what it is. Backwards."
I can’t shut my mind off after reading Chris Stewart’s subsequent post about the immorality of Ravith and Weingarten’s opt-out campaign, heartily endorsed here by NJEA leaders and their allied lobbyists. He says that no one should refer to the test-refusers as constituting a “movement” because that word implies some bedrock of morality or ethical reasoning.
The anti-testing, anti-standards, anti-accountability arguments we hear today have long, thin legs. They existed before Arne Duncan went to Washington, before Bill Gates had a foundation, and before No Child Left Behind used data to make invisible children visible.
When we see teachers and their unions egging kids on to skip tests in Seattle, Minnesota, and beyond, it feels like something new, like a movement, but it’s not.
Movements are moral.
Attempts to ruin the school data that helps education leaders intervene on behalf of children who have been historically marginalized, trivialized, and forgotten is dishonorable. Doing it under the misappropriated banner of “civil disobedience” is shameless and sleazy.
When children’s lives are on the line we have to drop the pretenses and call things what they are.
Chris Stewart is exactly right. Let's not call it a "movement" anymore.
Labels: AFT, common core, NJEA, PARCC