Solidarity Messages from all over

We have received many solidarity messages from individuals over the last couple of weeks.  Here is a digest of some of these messages:

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Friends

I send my message of support from the 3000 NUT members in Oxfordshire UK and hope you scrap these useless and damaging tests.

Best wishes

Dave Robinson

President Of Oxfordshire National Union of Teachers

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I’m a certificated teacher currently employed in Olympia scoring COE submissions for WA state, so I have some idea of what a huge amount of student time and effort is spent on testing. Thank you for defending our students from the meaningless wastelands of assessment like the MAP and supporting their right to a useful, effective educational experience. You have my whole-hearted support, and I’m proudly wearing red today to show it!

Rachel
Olympia, WA

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I found out about the day of action with very short notice…so I’m “opting out” of working within the broken system tomorrow…I’m dedicating the day to my education activism work…I talk about the evils of testing and the choice to opt out with my students a lot throughout the year, otherwise I’d make problematizing testing part of my lessons…later this week or early next, we are going to read and discuss articles about Garfield…. I am a co-founder of NJTAG and we will likely make a statement on our website….we’re also running a spring event that will be focused on testing, VAM, evals, etc. and perhaps we’ll get a Garfield education worker here to speak at the event…

I’m sickened my state union and my local chapter have not made any support statements…

In solidarity,

Brian F.

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I’m wearing red tomorrow in solidarity with our sisters and brothers at Garfield!

Sincerely,

Esther J.
Seattle Central Community College

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Thinking of you all on your day of action and wishing you all the very best with your struggle. It’s great to see teachers standing up for education and giving politicians the message to stop meddling and leave it to the professionals.

Very best wishes,

Helen C.
Retired teacher and activist in the National Union of Teachers, UK

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As an educational psychologist, I unequivocally support the teachers of Garfield High School in their refusal to administer the MAP.

Rosalie F.

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I will be taking action to support the National Day of Action to Support Garfield HS.

Thank you for all that you do ~ Nika hyas wawa mahsie, nesika mamook,

Jeff P. (Mokst’Leloos), Clatsop tribe
Indian Education Facilitator, Southern Oregon Indian Education Consortium

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I’m not presently affiliated with any group, but I told everyone I know, put it on Facebook, and am going to wear red (although I never wear red).

Paula

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Thanks for this email and the action encouragement.  I am sharing this with my college students and they are keeping abreast of the situation.

I’ll do whatever else I can!

B. H.
Lewis and Clark College

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Our hearts are with you in Canada. You are showing great courage and commitment to what is right and moral.

Allan G.
Canadian Teacher

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I am in full support of you brave teachers…from across the waters, in Victoria BC. Good for you!

Gwyneth M.

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We are for quality education and quality assessment. We are a small, independent pre-K through 8th grade school and do not give our students standardized tests.

A.B.
Mountain Road School
at the Historic Hand House in New Lebanon

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Thank you for standing up for all of us, even my colleagues who are sleeping through the ed deform movement.

Rachel
UFT, New York

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I support what you are doing. I taught for almost 40 years (am retired). Standardized testing like MAPS is fraudulent, corporately driven, and an insult to both students, their parents, and teachers. Take care. Pete

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Just a note from an old Seattle School District curriculum-developer and Deseg Team member to say what UR doing is SO great and let us hope it will begin a serious trend in the whole land.

Judi
Redmond

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Hi,

I’m a teacher in Austin, TX and I called the SI office today in support of the teacher boycott and asked that no disciplinary action take place.

In solidarity,

Jen K.

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Dear Superintendent Banda,

I am writing to express my support for the teachers boycotting the MAP test and to urge you to take NO disciplinary action against them.

I have been reflecting on standardized test scores and the uses to which they have been put. At the same time as these kids are boycotting, I have received a response to my advanced learning applications for my kids. I have several years of experience with attempting to test my two children into the program at the same time – in the hopes that they could attend the same program at the same school.

You may be pleased to hear that they have been successful. One actually was rejected, but upon appeal she will qualify based on her spring MAP scores.

Although my children are quite bright and do require some kind of ALO, the success was based just as much on LUCK. Why do I say this? Well, for my two children to test into advanced learning, both of them had to meet a threshold for four standardized tests (two Cog-AT and two MAP tests). My son is receiving special education services for a processing delay – he works slowly. So this year’s Cog-AT scores would have disqualified him for both Spectrum and APP.

Last year, though, he qualified for APP. Why the difference? He’s the same kid!!! If anything, he’s smarter this year, on account of the excellent teachers he has.

Meanwhile, my daughter was disqualified despite having Cog-AT scores in the 98th and 99th percentile, because her spring MAP for reading is in the 75th percentile. But her more recent winter score is higher so I have been assured that she will get in based on that.

Once again, this is the same kid. Two wildly different scores – which is of course the norm for the MAP test.

I’m lucky she didn’t have a bad day for this winter test, aren’t I?

But education shouldn’t be based on luck. Teacher evaluations shouldn’t be based on luck.

Now, a big community of parents, teachers, and students have been saying this all along. The district hasn’t listened, and that’s why we don’t trust your task force. Deal justly with the teachers, and we’ll listen then.

-Anonymous

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Dear staff at Garfield High School,

I support your action against unfair assessment of students. You are to be “held up” in the highest sense as professional educatiors. Please keep us informed about your progress.

Cathy
Reynolds High School
Troutdale, Oregon

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Dear Superintendent Banda,

I’m writing to support Scrap the MAP in its campaign to scrap the MAP test. This test is part of a trend driven by capitalists bent on endless economic growth and privatization of everything, as means toward socio-economic hierarchy, i.e. institutionalized dominance/submission.

In absolute contrast to such sociopathic ego-indulgence, we the people are working to institutionalize universal enlightenment, solidarity, equity, and justice. Join us in this most noble quest by supporting enlightenment, creativity and self-determination among students, and ultimately across the whole society and culture.

Thanks,

Robert D.
Casa Grande, AZ

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Many of us on the faculty of Bank Street are encouraged to hear of the teachers approach at Garfield and beyond! I shared this info in a faculty blast and received many supportive responses. We know that assessment is necessary to know our students and their learning needs. However, a test that does not offer pertinent information seems like a no-brainer–not needed.

The national conversation that is brewing in local arenas seems to be spreading to the nation. We must reconsider what we are doing with high-stakes standardized testing.

“Sane testing” seems like an oxymoron, but we know we can do better.  Thank you to the teachers of Garfield who have raised their concern for their students! Thank you to the educators who are joining the conversations and making time for their voices to be heard in the policy arena.

Kids first!

🙂 Mollie

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Your struggle against the testing obsession is admirable and inspiring. We have a struggle here at City College of San Francisco that is gaining momentum fast – a struggle against the the downsizing and dismantling of our wonderful school that served 100,000 students. The two struggles are connected. Best wishes,

Allan F.

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Hello teachers, parents and students of Garfield school,

I write this letter to express gratitude and solidarity for your courageous, far sighted and inspiring actions in correctly refusing to allow the continued destructive use of the MAP test in your school. As a city college and adult school teacher I’ve watched these past few years as powerful business interests and the government have moved to destroy public education while imposing a narrow, lifeless curriculum meant to numb rather than inspire. The closure of adult schools, the efforts to close access to many communities to community college, and the moves to gut curriculum to a lifeless rote formula are all part of a broader effort to convert education to serve a narrowed view of humanity devoid of any value other than that than can be counted in dollars and cents. But truth is hard to kill and reasserts itself, and pushes through into the light.

Thank you.

Bruce N.

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Dear Teachers,

Am writing you from San Francisco . I want to express my support to you for not imposing the ‘standardized test’ upon your students. As a person that has gone trough the public school system from grammar school through college, I have seen and experienced what these tests do to students.

Thank you for setting the example and for standing for true education.  I hope that other teachers nationally will also follow your example.

I also thank the students and the Seattle Community who are in support of you!

In solidarity,

Adrienne
San Francisco

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To the teachers at Garfield High,

You are clearly a determined and courageous group.

I want to commend you for your efforts to fight against the Privatization of Education and for not acquiescing to powerlessness. You give inspiration to those of us here in SF with our own fight.

I applaud you for being willing to stand for the future of your students and this country against the moneyed interests that is working to subvert it.

Steven B.
City College of San Francisco

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Dear Garfield High School Teachers,

As a (recently laid-off) CCSF teacher, I salute you for your courageous and conscientious stand against standardized tests that are clearly not in the best interests of your students. It is shocking that your superintendent is threatening you with a 10-day suspension without pay for your boycott of the MAP test.

As you probably know, here at City College of San Francisco we are facing an accreditation crisis which has been manufactured by the WASC/ACCJC in order to downsize and privatize the nation’s largest community college, with union-busting of course on the agenda, too. It is clear to us CCSF faculty that your struggle and ours are parts of a nationwide attempt to take over and dismantle public education while killing public employees’ unions. Therefore we need to stand in solidarity with each other and with all other schools around the country under similar attacks. It is very important that we tell our communities, our politicians and the media what is really going on, and that we will not stand for it.

I found it very heartening that during the recent Chicago teachers’ strike, many parents marched on the picket line with the teachers. I wish you the same kind of support in your community. All families of schoolchildren need to understand that teachers are their natural allies against the forces that would end public education as we know it. Parents deeply appreciate teachers who recognize each child’s uniqueness and are committed to helping each child develop his or her unique potential.

We say NO to No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, more focus on standardized testing, and government’s setting unreachable targets (e. g. 100% of students reaching grade level proficiency by 2014!) while reducing funding for education. All of these are in opposition to our recognition of, and commitment toward, each child’s unique development. Now we teachers have two jobs: in addition to teaching our students in our classrooms, we must also communicate to our larger communities how public education is being threatened and how they can help us to defend it.

Thank you again for standing strong. We stand with you. God bless you.

Daniel H.

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