What Valerie Strauss’ “Best and worst education news of 2013” means for the state of education:
Valerie Strauss, who runs the Washington Post blog, “The Answer sheet”, has complied an insightful list of the “Best and worst education news of 2013.” Strauss’ list is a must read to understand the current political moment in the struggle for the public schools–both the great potential and the bitter struggles to come.
The “Best Education News” included the Seattle MAP test boycott and the decision by several states to delay their use of Common Core high-stakes, standardized tests–revealing the growing influence of organized students, parents, and teachers who have been building a national grassroots movement to oppose the abuses of standardized testing. I am incredibility proud of my colleagues at Garfield High School who launched the MAP test boycott and helped inspire an uprising around the country to reclaim our classrooms from testing companies.
The “Worst Education News” included the mass school closures in Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as dramatically low teacher morale across the country. These stories demonstrate that, even in the face of a growing movement to defend public education, the corporate education reformers are as determined as ever to reduce the intellectual process of teaching and learning to a single score for the purpose of closing schools, demoralizing teachers, and weakening their unions.
Which side will win–the corporate reformers or the masses of families and educators–remains to be seen. But at least now there are two sides to this national struggle.