I promised myself I’d spend less time on these Teachers Speak Up posts — but it looks like I haven’t broken the addiction yet.
Tonight I’m joining a Google Talk discussion on teacher voice, moderated by Paul Allison of Teachers Teaching Teachers. Also in the session will be Jesse Hagopian of Garfield HS in Seattle, where teachers spoke out to boycott the use of the MAP test. They pointed out how it wasted precious resources and time because it didn’t even match the curriculum they were required to teach.
In a related article that is linked in the piece about Seattle (that I linked to just above) one educator agonizes about the understandable fear and pressure teachers experience when considering whether to speak up like the Garfield faculty did. Interestingly, when parents speak out, as they have in Texas where the legislature voted to drastically reduce the number of standardized tests required across the state, officials sometimes begin to listen. Another occasion when teachers find their voice is when the pain becomes too great, as it has in New York, where the new state ELA test has caused so much agony in the classroom. Lucy Calkins’s website for teacher testimony about this situation has received HUNDREDS of teacher letters and responses. It’s just too bad this has to develop after the pain has already been inflicted.
Anyway, I hope you’ll listen in on tonight’s discussion!
Teacher advocacy, Teacher Voice