Earlier this month, teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington came together and voted to boycott a standardized test called the MAP test. According to the teachers, the test not only puts unnecessary pressure on the students but it is also used to grade the teacher’s performance. What is good about the teachers standing up for what they believe in is that it brings awareness to the state of the education system in America. As a result of the boycott, teachers within the state and nation wide have expressed their support. For example, The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, which make up some 4.5 million members have publicly stated their support.
I have always been critical of the education system in America and its big push for standardized testing. This is for many reasons, such as the atmosphere that it produces around the school campus which forces students to just regurgitate information. The problem with this is that students don’t challenge themselves to to critically think about issues that they are facing or could face in the future. Today Democracy Now, hosted Jesse Hagopian and Wayne Au, who talk more about the Garfield High School teachers and their boycott of the MAP test as well as highlighting some of the critical issues that are present in the current education system. The prodcast can be found below and via direct link here: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/29/seattles_teacher_uprising_high_school_faculty
I also would like to share a talk called “University as a Factory,” given by Max Haiven (I urge EVERYONE to listen to this talk, especially students and recently graduated individuals). This talk is one that I find very interesting in many ways. This is because Max Haiven, hits many points about the role of the university in current society, such as the debt crisis, capitalism, society, economic issues, and happiness. Some of the points that Max Haiven highlights are directly connected to the boycott that the teachers at Garfield High School are involved in. The link to the talk can be found here: http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/619/coming-wed-103112. Feel free to express your thoughts.