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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Six Reasons Why the Opt Out Movement is Good for Students and Parents of Color

By Jesse Hagopian, first published in The Progressive magazine Corporate education reformers who seek to reduce teaching and learning to a single score are beginning to realize they are losing the public relations battle. Hundreds of thousands of families across the country are opting out in what has become largest revolt against high-stakes testing in …

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We are opting our first grade son out of the MAP test—here’s our letter explaining why

The infamous MAP test is set to be administered in my son’s school this week. The MAP is a computerized test meant to measure students in math and reading. Seattle Public Schools initially required MAP kindergarten through high school, with multiple testing periods per year. In 2013, Garfield High School launched a boycott of the …

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Arne Duncan: Testocracy Tsar. Educational Alchemist. Corporate lackey.

2016 has begun with important news: We have endured the last days of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan roaming the halls of government, looking for teachers and students to intimidate.  Arne, "the nation's bully," no longer runs the schoolyard.  Educators and families around the country will remember him by many monikers, none of them sympathetic. …

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Five 2015 victories that put cracks in the ‘testocracy’

Never in U.S. history have more students, parents, and teachers engaged in acts of resistance to standardized tests. During the 2015 testing season, over 620,000 public school students around the U.S. refused to take standardized exams, according to a report by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). I wrote this essay for …

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