2013 was the best year of my life.
My younger son was born–on Martin Luther King Jr.’s, birthday, no less–only two days after my colleagues at Garfield High School announced that they were going to defy corporate education reformers by refusing to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. Seeing my older son receive an unparalleled education at his play based preschool, while becoming a loving big brother; getting to know my magnetic, now almost one-year-old, son; and participating in the collective resistance of the MAP test boycott with my fellow educators at Garfield, made 2013 a defining year in my life.
There were many inspiring struggles to defend public education and create a more just society in 2013. The teachers in Seattle who refused to administer the district mandated MAP test, and helped ignite a national movement to curb the abuses of standardized testing, are honored to be included in these remembrances of the most important acts for social justice of 2013:
- Alternet named the MAP boycott the number one biggest win for public education in 2013!: 10 Big Wins For Public Education in 2013: http://www.alternet.org/education/10-big-wins-public-education-2013
- Zinn Education Project named the MAP boycott as part of “A People’s History for 2013″: Ordinary Citizens Catalyzing Change–A People’s History of 2013: http://www.good.is/posts/ordinary-citizens-catalyzing-change-a-people-s-history-of-2013
- Yes! magazine celebrated the “open rebellion” of the MAP test boycott: 10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What’s to Come: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/10-things-that-happened-in-2013
- Seattle Times: My op-ed, “Why Garfield teachers boycotted the MAP test”, finished as the number 8th most read op-ed in the Seattle Times in 2013! As Dora Taylor points out, not a single one of the many op-eds that supported corporate education reform finished in the top ten! Top 10 most-read opinion in 2013: Dating, kids and Dick’s Drive-In: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/opinionnw/2013/12/30/2013-top-10-opinion/
- Democracy Now’s Retrospective of the most important social justice fights of 2013, featured the MAP test boycott. Looking back a year of struggles: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/31/looking_back_a_year_of_struggles
- Socialist Worker’s “Top Stories of 2013″ includes Brian Jones’ interview about the MAP test boycott with Rethinking Schools editor, Wayne Au. Why testing fails our kids: http://socialistworker.org/2013/01/29/why-testing-fails-our-kids
- Peter Dreier’s essay for Common Dreams lists the MAP tests in The 25 Best Progressive Victories of 2013: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/01-1
Teacher Solidarity cited the struggles of Seattle educators as part of its prediction for “2014: The year of the global fight for democratic, public education”: http://www.teachersolidarity.com/blog/2014-the-year-of-the-global-fight-for-democratic-public-education
- The Nation magazine names the MAP test boycott, the Seattle Education Association, and the Social Equality Educators in its Progressive Honor Roll: http://www.thenation.com/article/177654/progressive-honor-roll-2013?page=0,1#
- ColorLines includes the MAP test boycott in its 10 Victories for Racial Justice for 2013: http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/12/10_racial_justice_victories_for_2013.html
- The Washington Post’s blog, The Answer Sheet includes the MAP test boycott in its Best Education News of 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/29/best-and-worst-education-news-of-2013/
In 2014, I resolve to redouble my efforts of raising a family and a movement for authentic assessment. Happy new year to everyone in the struggle for social justice! May 2014 be the year the education revolution defeated education reform!