Garfield High has made history

Garfield High students, teachers, and parents, you have made history. People will be talking about you for generations to come. The first U.S. school in a testing revolt that has been too long in coming. A school where students, teachers, and parents have all banded together to support each other.

This is going down in history whether Garfield High wins or loses. I hope Garfield wins, because it will embolden those of us who want our education to be child-driven rather than results-driven. But no matter what happens, the actions at Garfield are sparking other actions nationwide. It didn’t create the movement against high-stakes standardized testing, but it is a focal point for struggle.

And what is that? Well, yesterday the superintendent demanded that the test be administered. The teachers are still boycotting the test, but apparently administration is giving it. However, a whole bunch of students are refusing to take it. And a whole bunch of parents are supporting them by submitting opt-out forms. With that kind of solidarity, the district cannot win. It can only save face. Sort of.

My condolences, Superintendent Banda, to have the misfortune of being in a conflict you cannot win. I can kind of get where you might be coming from. If I were you, I would be reluctant to side with students and teachers for fear of being smeared by the corporate types who want results-driven education. All I can say is, try not to be on the wrong side of history.

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