WHOA! Four Seattle area teachers decided to truly speak up, testifying to their school board about the agonies that are being visited on their students and themselves by the Smarter Balanced test that is pointlessly discouraging everyone, and declaring that they’ll refuse to give the tests in the future. As you’ll see from their account and their statements, they organized this very carefully and smartly, with a large number of fellow teachers in attendance. Several others came forward to speak as well, including a candidate for the state legislature.
Since time was limited to 3 minutes per speaker, the teachers planned their parts to go in sequence. Their statements were measured but passionate, as you can see by reading them: Becca Richie’s statement, Judy Dotson’s statement, Julianna Dauble’s statement, Susan duFresne’s statement. Several quoted Martin Luther King: “Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”
And Susan DuFresne explained in her account that both they and the other teachers present experienced a real sense of empowerment and professional pride.
It appears that there are indeed caring teachers who simply cannot remain silent when they see children being psychologically and developmentally hurt, whether their jobs are threatened or not. Let this be a lesson for the rest of us.