Tag Archives: Seattle

Youth Organizing in Seattle

3 Aug

One area we try to take seriously in organizing is working with youth.  So it’s always great to see examples of youth stepping up, like this example from Seattle in protests around the acquittal of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer.   Read the full article here: http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/high-school-students-self-organize/.

Some of the organizing we do is reading and studying with youth, helping them write a youth newsletter, and going to actions together and collectively analyzing them and the different participants.  We would love to do more–this is work we’ve started relatively recently–and hope to get involved in more campaign work soon.  In the meantime, though, we’re trying to strategize around how to do sustainable and radical youth organizing.  What ideas do yall have?  The article we link to highlights the potentials of youth self-organizing ending with the question of “Teachers: how can we teach in ways that support this kind of student self-organization, instead of thwarting or coopting it?”  What do yall think is the healthy amount of hands-on and hands-off work in organizing with youth?  And what kind of work does that even look like?

Solidarity with Seattle Teachers and Students Refusing Pointless Standardized Tests!

8 Feb

 

Students have refused to take the MAP test in solidarity with the teachers.

Many students have refused to take the MAP test in solidarity with the teachers.

Solidarity with Seattle Teachers and Students Refusing Pointless Standardized Tests!

 

As Classroom Struggle, we would like to send our deep respect and solidarity to the teachers, parents and students resisting standardized testing in Seattle. Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, WA have courageously boycotted the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test, teachers at three other Seattle schools (The Center School, Chief Sealth International High School, and Orca K-8 School) have joined this boycott, and eight other area schools and organizations have signed solidarity statements.

The purpose of this solidarity statement is to: 1) provide ways to gain pertinent information and updates in order for education organizations, teachers, parents and students to be informed and show their support, 2) inspire the spread of these kinds of direct actions to send a strong warning to school district administrations that useless testing consuming valuable instruction/learning time will not be tolerated, 3) to show our support for the teachers, students and parents engaged in this struggle in Seattle.

“Our teachers have come together and agree that the MAP test is not good for our students, nor is it an appropriate or useful tool in measuring progress,”  Kris McBride – Academic Dean and Testing Coordinator at Garfield High School.

The MAP test is administered two to three times a year to 9th graders. The test has no impact on student grades or class standing, and isn’t aligned with students’ learning expectations (state and district standards).  However, the results of the test will be used by the district to evaluate teacher effectiveness.

“We really think our teachers are making the right decision,”  Obadiah Stevens-Terry – student body president.

This struggle is also being waged by some students who are mobilizing to join the boycott by answering ‘C’ for Creativity not control on all questions of the MAP test. For more information on the boycott please visit creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com. Creativity Not Control is a group of educators organizing to spread this boycott to schools in working class neighborhoods. They intend to pass out flyers on the boycott at two South End schools over the next two weeks.

We fully support the testing boycott at Garfield High and other Seattle schools.

In OUSD we also are forced to spend unnecessary time on standardized testing, often do not see our student’s learning accurately represented by these tests, see the funding of our schools connected to these tests and see curriculum shaped by these tests as opposed to the needs of our students.

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Seattle teachers resist standardized testing

17 Jan

As some of you might have heard, Seattle teachers at 2 high schools have refused to administer a junk science standardized test mandated by the district.  This is a brave action and a powerful action.  From all appearances this seems like a rank and file organized protest with deep roots at the school site level and strong student support.  These are the types of organization and action we should strive for here in Oakland as well.

Here we repost a great article analyzing this struggle from a teacher comrade in Seattle.  The original can be found at the blog of the Black Orchid Collective, a revolutionary organization based in Seattle: http://blackorchidcollective.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/seattle-teachers-resist-standardized-testing.

We hope this article sparks ideas for organizing we can do here as well.  As always if you have ideas please share.

Seattle teachers hold press conference declaring their refusal to implement a standardized test.

Seattle teachers hold press conference declaring their refusal to implement a standardized test.

Seattle teachers resist standardized testing

By Mamos206

 

Teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School have recently chosen to resist administering a standardized test used for student and teacher evaluation.  Ballard High School teachers followed soon after, declaring that they also would resist the test.

This is making big waves locally and nationally. I hope that teachers, students, and parents at other schools in Seattle and across the country extend solidarity to the Garfield and Ballard teachers; you can sign a petition here to suport them.  I also hope this kind of action is replicated at other schools.  The Garfield and Ballard teachers have shown that when we are unified we don’t need to be passive and cynical; we can resist.

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