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Sunday, October 31, 2010

So you say you want a revolution

We need parents, grandparents, retired teachers and working teachers, and we need our neighbors to organized, speak out, write, fax, attending board of education meetings, protesting, and we need as many people as we can get to come to the ...Save Our Schools rally and teach-in next July 30th and 31 in Washington DC.
I believe in transformative action. This is a form of civil disobedience advocate by the great American writer Henry David Thoreau who wrote and advocated a call to “Civil Disobedience" for citizens dealing with unjust laws and taxes. The Rev Doctor Martin Luther King used it to inspire and change a nation. Gandhi used it to win independence for India. It was use to break the South African system of apartheid. The Danish use it to fight back in World War II to resist the Nazis.
I am calling for a return to that American principle of civil disobedience, and work to change this unjust NCLB law that hurts children, parents, teachers, and our local schools. It hurts children, because it is limited. Think of NCLB’s assessment focus as being a family photo album only allowing for only photos of the children doing the same thing over and over again. Who wants a photo of the same picture over and over again? This is madness, and unfair.
To me this means the target is Washington DC the birthplace of NCLB, the only place where it can be changed. If we change it in Washington we change it everywhere in the land.
However, civil disobedience is not only about being against something it is about being for something better. We need to argue for a balanced and fair assessment framework not just say the testing is wrong. Washington DC has removed balance assessment from our schools by making standardized test the only unquestionable measures, and making these measures the key to all funding.
My vision of a balanced and thorough assessment framework views academic achievement as a photo album of performance over time. It includes many pictures of a child’s progress from multiple performance indicators. It includes the voices of children, parents, and teachers in that album. Yes, I think children and parents should have a say in what goes into that photo album of performance. I do not oppose standardized tests they are included as well, but they are weigh no heavier or lighter than other assessment inputs.
Lets start talking about what parents, teachers, and students think should be included in a balanced assessment framework?

I am walking to DC again Jesse, but this time I am bringing some friends.

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