Diane Ravitch, the outspoken education historian, policy analyst and author, called on educators across Long Island Tuesday to boycott Common Core-related curricula and refuse to administer state tests as an act of defiance against the state and federal governments.
“Your community is your boss, and you do what’s best for children,” said Ravitch, speaking at a Hauppauge meeting that drew about 175 school superintendents and administrators from Suffolk and Nassau counties.
“Do not take the Common Core tests. Stop the testing,” said Ravitch, of Southold, who wrote the critically acclaimed “Reign of Error,” which defends the American education system and criticizes privatization moves as a drain on public schools. “Neither teachers or students are prepared for these tests. Stand together and there will be no punishment.”
This idea has been bubbling for some time now. Just waiting for the right person to put it out there. There is no better person to suggest the idea than Diane Ravitch. This is the year to do it. It is the perfect storm. Parents will be refusing in droves. Teachers are finally feeling emboldened enough to speak out about the reforms that are killing their school. It’ll be the spring of an election year. Legislators wouldn’t dare impose consequences on a district (or districts) who boycott the tests as a way of protecting the children in their communities. We’ve already seen the governor in an all out sprint, attempting to distance himself from the reform agenda. All it will take is for one school district to take the courageous step. To say, “No. Not to our children. You will not continue to abuse our children. No state testing in our schools this year.” Middle Country School District Superintendent Roberta Gerold was quoted in the Newsday article saying, “I would really have to think about it. I would love us to have the courage.”
Once a district takes that step others will follow. At that point the entire reform agenda crumbles. So now the question is, who? Who is going to be the courageous first district to take that step? Whoever it is will have the strength of all of our state’s teachers and an enormous number of parents behind it.