Our Opt-Out Letter: “These standardized tests can’t measure our son”

This is the opt-out letter we wrote for our son. I sent it to the principal of my son's middle school asking that he be dismissed from the Smarter Balanced test, explaining our reasoning, and attempting to build common cause in a struggle for a larger purpose for education. While this letter is deeply personal to me and describes a lot of the very specific reasons why my son won't be taking these tests, I encourage you to meditate on your own children's beautiful qualities and then write your own opt-out letter to your school principal.

#COVIDTestingNotStandardizedTesting: Schools Need #VaccinationsNotExaminations

While corporate education reformers prattle on about a need for more high-stakes testing to evaluate “learning loss,” what students truly require is the redirection of the billions of dollars wasted on the testing-industrial complex toward supporting educators and students: to gain access to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations, as well as psychologists, nurses, social workers, trauma counselors, after-school programs, restorative justice coordinators, and more.

Huge Victory for Washington State’s Students: Exit Exam Requirement Struck Down!

Cue Pomp and Circumstance because many more Washington State high school seniors will be walking across the stage and handed a diploma! Beginning with the class of 2020, high school students are no longer required to pass the "Smarter Balance Assessment" high-stakes standardized test to graduate. They will still have to take at least one …

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Teach What Matters

Recently I flew to New York City for film project called, "8 Powerful Voices for Public Education."  Below is the address I delivered to make the case for teaching skills that will empower students to challenge oppression and solve societal problems--not just prepare them for the next mind-numbing standardized test. #TeachWhatMatters. Pass it on. https://youtu.be/eXBHmpHLPZ8

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Graduation Not Incarceration: No to exit exams in Washington!

Some 6,000 high school seniors in Washington are at risk of not graduating because they haven't passed one of the myriad of high-stakes tests, including the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Common Core aligned language arts and math exams, as well as a biology end-of-course exam. These students could have met all the other requirements, …

Continue reading Graduation Not Incarceration: No to exit exams in Washington!