We, the members of Students United for Public Education (SUPE), stand in solidarity with the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle who are refusing to administer standardized, high-stakes tests to their students. We believe that students do not receive the education they deserve due to our nation’s push for more high-stakes testing. Our nation’s students are anything but standard: they are a diverse body, made up of individuals with a variety of needs and learning styles. Standardized testing not only removes the individuality from the student, but removes the artistry from teaching. Our students need educational experiences that allow them to fully immerse themselves in material — not one that relies on drills and rote memorization. One that allows them not only to learn English, science, and arithmetic, but to utilize these skills in creative problem solving, in innovative ways, and in expressing their creativity through art, dance, and music. Our nation’s students have become prisoners of the test, oftentimes unable even to engage in physical education as a result of the narrowing of curriculum. The current system has taken the exploration out of learning and the teach out of teaching, rendering our educators nothing more than drill sergeants.
The courageous teachers in Seattle are setting a historic and national example for what education could and should look like. We believe the boycotting teachers are acting in the best interest of the students and education as a whole and we support them as they bravely call into question a system that has long since failed.
To keep up to date with their latest actions, please visit: www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGarfieldHighSchoolTestingBoycott