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Teachers and Parents of Puerto Rico Launch Historic Strike & Boycott Against Standardized Testing


Teachers and Parents of Puerto Rico Launch Historic Strike & Boycott Against Standardized Testing

Jesse Hagopian

Today, my third grade son is supposed to take the Common Core high-stakes test, “Smarter Balanced,” at his school here in Seattle. He decided, however, that he would rather do a research project about a leader who has helped to make the world better. So my wife and I are writing the opt out letter and letting our son know that he will be allowed to continue with real learning today about an issue he cares a lot about.


The Smarter Balanced Test happens to be well designed, and is a good measure of whether, and how well, important skills are taught by teachers at various grade levels. Now, more than ever, we need an educated citizenry–and our public schools need to be held accountable for graduating more students who can decipher information, who possess curiosity, and who have developed a critical attitude after twelve years of schooling. There is nothing about the existence of a standardized test, or even a canned curriculum, that prevents great teachers from making significant, individually designed conceptual and skill break-throughs with their students. Decades of teacher resistance to well-designed measures of performance are not helpful to parents, students, nor to the country–and the educational attainments of typical American voters illustrate this.


A test of won’ts


Austerity levels off at subsistence plus a procreation bonus.

The debts owed by Puerto Rico were imposed purchases and services.

Call your families to cash in and come home. Declare all debts invalid and corrupt. Declare independence from neocolonial pirates who have more paper and digital money than there is stuff to buy. Kick them out.

Puerto Rico es rico. Capitalisme ha hecho pobres sin tierra.


I think of the breadth of history that has not been taught by the standardized curriculum and the control exercised by interests overseeing textbook publication houses. I think of the decades under which powerful corporate interests have funded research “chairs” and departments at universities and the impacts onchannelling education into a business - which NOW requires forms of testing that render humans into widgets to be packaged and distributed. The absolutely stunning student debt is not just a stage-specific consequence, but a parasitic symptom in a process that has not yet concluded.

The era of real human research has become fettered and will no doubt reach a point of diminishing return. The irony being that the entire process of “privatization” of education being bulldozed at the moment will produce precisely what “business” will need to toss it collective head and claim that its no longer worth it when the constrictions come full circle … the parasite will have consumed the host.