Monthly Archives: January, 2014

On the one-year anniversary the historic MAP test boycott, teachers launch campaign in the upcoming Seattle Education Association (SEA) union election.

MastheadToday, I am excited to announce that I am entering the election to run for president of my union, the Seattle Education Association.  It is truly an honor to have been nominated to run for president on the Social Equality Educator’s “Respect” slate of candidates–an unparalleled team of educators in Seattle, running for officer and executive board positions, who are dedicated to achieving the schools Seattle’s children deserve.  If you live in the Seattle area, please consider attending our MAP test boycott anniversary celebration and campaign kick off event on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:30 p.m., at the Garfield Community Center (2323 E Cherry St, Seattle). You can RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/events/584713934950158/

We would be grateful for your support of our campaign by making a secure donation on the Social Equality Educator’s Pay Pal Account located on the side bar of our website. With your help we can win this election and just education system!

Please read the announcement for our campaign:

J A N U A R Y 21, 2 0 1 4

On the one-year anniversary the historic MAP test boycott,

teachers launch campaign in the upcoming

Seattle Education Association (SEA) union election.

Social Equality Educators (SEE) will introduce its “Respect” slate of candidates and education platform for the upcoming SEA union election at a January 30th Garfield Community Center forum.

The SEE Respect candidates for office will include a coalition of MAP boycott leaders, members of current SEA Board of Directors, award-winning teachers, teachers new to the profession, and veteran educators, including:

  • Jesse Hagopian, “Secondary Teacher of the Year,” Garfield High School, leader in MAP           boycott—For SEA President
  • Marian Wagner, National Board Certified Teacher, Salmon Bay K-8,
    current member of SEA Board of Directors—For SEA Vice President
  • Dan Troccoli, current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association, founding member of SEE—For SEA Treasurer
  • And a slate of other candidates for the SEA Board of Directors

What: MAP Boycott Celebration/SEE Respect union candidates announcement

When: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Garfield Community Center (2323 E Cherry St, Seattle)

For more information:

hagopian.jesse@gmail.com

www.socialequalityeducators.org

 “We have a bold vision for educating Seattle’s children,” said Jesse Hagopian, teacher and Black Student Union advisor at Garfield High School, and SEE’s “Respect” candidate for president in the upcoming Seattle Education Association election. “This month marks the one-year anniversary of the announcement by my colleagues at Garfield that they would defend students by refusing to administer the deeply flawed MAP test. That movement galvanized parents, students, and education advocates across the city and around the nation.  Today, educators throughout Seattle—many of whom were inspired by our stand for authentic assessment—are organizing to bring this movement for an equitable, high-quality education into our union election.”

In January of 2013, teachers at Garfield High School began the “MAP test boycott,” a movement that was supported by the student body government and the PTSA.   The boycott then spread to several other schools in Seattle, including Orca K-8, Chief Sealth International High School, Ballard High School, Center School, and Thornton Creek Elementary—while solidarity with the boycott spread around Seattle, the nation, and then around the world.   The MAP test boycott by Seattle’s educators has been widely credited with having played transformative role in the debate around standardized testing in the U.S.—as was recently recognized in national media, including The Nation, Alternet, ColorLines magazine, and The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet.”

“It was an extremely difficult decision to run for Vice President of the SEA because I don’t want to leave the classroom.  I love the challenge of improving our world through teaching the next generation, but the education of our youth is not being supported systematically,” said Marian Wagner, 5th grade teacher at Salmon Bay K-8. “I can’t ignore the thunderous cry of phenomenal educators who are not being heard.  I am agreeing to step in and run on their behalf.”

The Social Equality Educators will host an award ceremony on January 30th to recognize the leadership and courage of teachers participating in the boycott. Teachers and prominent community leaders fighting for social justice will also speak briefly, followed by the announcement of SEE’s Respect slate of candidates.

“The Respect slate of candidates is made up of teachers who support valid, reliable assessment, responsible evaluation, and full funding for the education of Seattle’s students,” said Dan Troccoli, the current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association.   Educators will elaborate on the Respect platform at the event.

“As a teacher in the Seattle Public Schools and a SEA union representative for many years, I have never been so excited about an election before because of SEE’s ‘Respect’ slate of candidates,” said Roberta Lindeman, a teacher at Chief Sealth High School.  “I’m confident that these educators will best represent Seattle’s students and educators, will fight for student and teacher assessment based on best practices, and will bring a voice of reason to education reform.”

Join us as we celebrate this important victory and launch the next

campaign for education justice in Seattle!

#     #     #

On the Fourth Anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake my Family Survived: end the U.N. occupation, end U.S. exploitation, and end corporate education reform on Haiti!

Four years ago today, my wife, my one-year-old son and I survived the earthquake in Haiti.

Here Jesse (left) is shown bandaging a badly injured Haitian women hours after the earthquake struck on January 12th, 2010.

Here Jesse (left) is shown bandaging a badly injured Haitian women hours after the earthquake struck on January 12th, 2010.

While we were lucky—the lobby of the hotel collapsed but not our room—many thousands of Haitians perished from the natural disaster, which was compounded by the U.S. and U.N.’s neglectful and exploitative response to the quake. On this fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I am thankful to be alive, thankful to have a wonderful family, and thankful for the never-ending resistance of the Haitian people.   In the aftermath of the earthquake we did everything we could to help in the medical care and relief effort, while the U.S. and U.N. acted as if Haiti was a war zone and the people needed to be contained and controlled.

Haitian’s will only begin to achieve justice when the U.N. apologizes for infecting the Haitian water supply with cholera, pays reparations and funds Haiti to build a clean water system, and ends its occupation of the world’s first Black republic.   Moreover, justice for Haiti will only begin to be achieved when U.S. sweatshops are driven from the island and Haiti’s wealth is used to meet the needs of Haitians, rather than enrich corporations.

One of the things that causes me the most distress about the United State’s response to the earthquake in Haiti is its plan for corporate school reform in Haiti.  I wrote this article explaining how the U.S. is attempting to export corporate education reform, modeled on its shock doctrine response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3414:shockdoctrine-schooling-in-haiti-neoliberalism-off-the-richter-scale

Long live the resistance of the Haitian people! Our struggle for the schools–and society–we deserve is truly global!

On the Anniversary of the MAP Test Boycott: Our fight has just begun

The successful boycott of the MAP test in Seattle began one year ago today.  scrapthemapImage

I am forever in the debt of all of you who wrote letters, sent flowers, ordered us pizza,  signed our petition, called the superintendent with the demand, “Suspend the test not the teachers,” sent us pictures of your community with “Scrap the MAP” signs, and demonstrated your solidarity in numerous other ways.  Your support kept my colleagues’ job safe after being threatened with a ten day suspension without pay for refusing to administer the MAP test.  And as a result of the growing movement, the district announced at the end of the last school year that the MAP test would no longer be required at the high school level.

As we enter the winter testing season, I am proud to tell you, Garfield High School will not be administering the MAP test this year!

Please take a moment to read and share my essay that ran on Common Dreams today, celebrating the MAP test boycott and analyzing the national movement against high stakes standardized tests it helped to ignite.

—————–

Published on Friday, January 10, 2014 by Common Dreams

One year ago today, my colleagues and I at Seattle’s Garfield High School set off on a bold journey: we called a press to announce our unanimous vote to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test.  That announcement led to what became known as the “MAP test boycott” and the boycott quickly spread to several other schools in Seattle, including to teachers at Orca K-8, Chief Sealth High School, Ballard High School, Center School, and Thornton Creek Elementary—while solidarity with the boycott spread around the nation and then around the world.

[Read the rest of the article at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/10-0%5D

Happy New Year of Struggle Against Corporate Education Reform: MAP test boycott tops lists of most important struggles of 2013!

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:

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!

%d bloggers like this: