Seattle Teacher: Dear Betsy DeVos, You’re Not Welcome Here

This article was first published at The Progressive. Dear Betsy DeVos, My name is Jesse Hagopian and I teach ethnic studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. I hope you didn’t just stop reading this letter after you heard the subject I am teaching—I urge you to keep reading. I am writing in regards to the …

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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, …

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Black to School: The Rising Struggle to Make Black Education Matter

A world where Black lives matter and Black education is empowering will not come easily. It won't be funded by benevolent philanthropists. It won't be promoted by corporate lobbyists or legislated by the politicians they own. It will only happen with an uprising beyond even the scale and militancy of the last century's civil rights and Black Power movements. The contradictions of unhinged police murder of Black people in the "land of the free," coupled with corporate education reformers' racist schooling policies enacted in the name of "closing the achievement gap," are already producing large-scale, renewed social unrest. The question of how powerful this movement grows is up to us.

“The reforms are introduced with blood”–A Oaxaca teacher on the life and death struggle against the testocracy

The teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico have been setting the international standard for social movement unionism and the defense of public education for many years. In her 2005 release of Granito de Arena, my friend, award-winning Seattle filmmaker Jill Freidberg, captured the story of hundreds of thousands of public schoolteachers in Oaxaca who have built a powerful …

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Off the Deep End: The Swim Test vs. The Standardized Test

By Jesse Hagopian, originally published at The Progressive Magazine As we enter the high-stakes testing season, a great uprising to opt out of these punitive and reductive exams is sweeping the country. So it’s no surprise that corporate education reformers--attempting to defend the multibillion dollar testing industry--have been launching aggressive attacks on the movement. One …

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