There is a video circulating titled, “High Stakes Testing and the Black Community: Just Say No!” which should be viewed by all parents in America. Though its major objective is to convince parents in the Black community to opt their children out of testing, the issues Principal Jamaal Bowman of CASA expressed do not belong only to poor Black families.
Principal Bowman states, “It’s not just about the “opt out”, it’s about the what’s next. We’re opting out as a form of civil disobedience, resisting something that’s not healthy or helpful to our students long term.”
Fighting the battle to change education so that it actually educates children is a war that opting out of testing will not win.
What is not healthy or helpful to our students is our entire system of education in America.
In the video, Principal Bowman gives evidence of the many excellent systems of education that are denied our children simply because their parents are poor. Because of their economic condition, children, their parents, their grandparents, and in some cases, their great-grandparents have been trapped in an institution that profits from their educational failure and keeps them ignorant to their own enslavement.
When we provide every child in America with a free and public education that is founded in the Arts, developmentally appropriate and experiential, there will be no need for standardized testing because students will be treated as individuals.
When we concentrate on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents that every child possesses, we will begin to raise a nation of individuals who are respectful, responsible citizens who take an active interest and role in the positive evolution of America.
“All is Quiet on the Western Front,” symbolizes the insignificance of one individual’s death during the war.
To concentrate on “opting out” as a means to change the system is insignificant in this war. We must, as a nation, reject this dehumanizing system of education and demand that our government provide every child in America with the excellent education that the children of the wealthy receive.
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