“We should be very worried that schools are increasingly being run as businesses. Desires for efficiency and profit have spurred austerity measures, inflated tuition and student debt, and spread the practice of standardized testing throughout the education system.
We are through with being seen as scores on a test, as consumers, and as products.
As the children of No Child Left Behind we can testify to the inefficacy of standardized tests. Repeated research shows that it is economic status which most greatly impacts how well a student will score on standardized tests, yet the drive for testing continues to assault schools, teachers, and students—at great costs. Standardized testing is a product of a logic of “efficiency” that is inherently contradictory to meaningful education. Moreover, it has been used as a tool to control teachers, constrict creative pedagogy, and to further repress already marginalized populations.
Meaningless standards and scores on tests determined in great part which of us are granted the right to attend institutions of higher education. High-stakes standardized tests and the high cost of college have produced a status quo which encourages obedience to authority – no matter how wasteful or out-of-touch – not ingenuity and effort.
As striking students at Indiana University, we are struggling against the corporatization of our school, lack of diversity on campus, and ever-increasing tuition and fees which are fast making an education here inaccessible to all but the most privileged. As we begin these important conversations here at IU we also recognize their systemic nature. We stand in solidarity with others throughout the nation working to rescue education from those who seek to profit from it. We recognize the bravery and commitment of the teachers, students, and parents in places such as Garfield High School in Seattle and the Project Libertas in Indianapolis, who have taken stands against the absurdities inherent in standardized testing.
And so we strike on April 11th and 12th not against our university, but FOR education. We strike to reclaim education from the narrow-minded and greedy. We strike as part of a broader movement to take back what is ours.”