It seems that a teacher in Seattle decided to take a stand against the the state’s standardized test, WASL. Quite simply, he refused to administer it. While it seems he has gained the admiration of his peers and many administrators for his actions, he was still suspended without pay for two weeks. His response? “When you do an act of civil disobedience, you gracefully accept what happens to you.”
I’m in my cubicle right now giving him a standing ovation.
Via the Seattle Times:
Chew issued a two-page, single-spaced statement listing all of his concerns about the WASL. It includes his contention that many questions on the test are unclear, notes its costs, and says teachers get little information about how to help students improve. The letter also says the WASL focuses too much attention on just a few subjects.
“I think it’s good for students to have basic skills in reading, writing and math,” he said. “But also to have good skills in P.E. and art and music and public speaking.”
The WASL, he said, needs to be scrapped and replaced with a “gentler, kinder way of finding out what our students know and helping teachers educate them better.”
Gotta respect any person who has the courage of their convictions and actually takes a stand for what they believe in, rather than just talking about it.
And what about next year? “I have let them know I’m never going to give the WASL again,” he says.
Lee Speers speculates “What if a whole school, or district, or even state would do this. Who knows, maybe the next Arlo Guthrie would even write a song about it.”
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really crazy and
they’ll suspend him without pay.
And if two people, two people do it, they may think they’re both off their rocker and they’ll send them both home.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people refusing to administer the state test? They may think it’s an organization.
And can you, can you imagine fifty teachers,I said fifty teachers walking into the principal’s office, refusing to give the state test and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.
And that’s what it is, the Clear-Thinking-Teachers-Anti-High Stakes-Testing Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the guitar.
(original lyrics by Arlo Guthrie)