Thank you to so many people who have reached out to me through email and the telephone about the AJC op-ed.
One message has been clear: teachers are fully supportive of the ideas in the piece and they are afraid. They are literally afraid of losing their jobs if they “speak out against testing.” Their personal and collective power as workers and professionals is diminished in this context and it’s simply unacceptable.
One teacher (who I don’t know and who contacted me only after reading my piece in the AJC):
“If I spoke against testing, I would not have a job and lose the ability to purchase food, shelter, and clothing. Face Book is discouraged in our district. Teachers have no power and no union. There would be a need for parents to mobilize, but they won’t. They moblize on nonsensical issues. Educators who would not be penalized, would need to inform law makers and pray that these representatives would be rational or just continue this madness.”
I can’t believe we are living in a time where teachers cannot speak out against this insane practice going on in their own schools, districts, and forced onto them in their classrooms.
It’s true that those of us who can absolutely should speak out against these practices – but I still don’t know if that’s going to be enough (it certainly hasn’t been enough up to this point in the struggle).
What does it take for change to happen when the most important people in the struggle are paralyzed by fear and intimidation?
I’m still working on that…
In the meantime, parents and (higher?) educators can and should do what we can.