Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seattle Boycott

Our educational system of today is the same used 50 years ago, and that needs to change. There is a strangely common relationship that some can make between a school and prison. In the school, they keep you seated in a place where you are spending most of your day listening to information and trying to retain as much as possible. This method already morphs into a more interacting ambient, with teachers varying their ways to teach, making it a more ‘’friendly’’ environment. I read a recent article about a school without the limitations that brings a traditional one. The concept they tried to conceive is to have more freedom in the ambience you are learning, and they created it successfully. With large areas, cushioned sofas, and teacher guidance, they were learning in a very different way. It turns that the kids were studying in a different place, where the architecture is creative, and everything around invokes creativity on the students.

The Garfield High School in Seattle have boycotted the standardized MAP tests, not handing in them to the students. This action had a great repercussion and people still talk about whether is good or not to make students take standardized tests for measuring their capacities. A point that Jesse Hagopian, graduate of Garfield High and spokesperson for the boycott said that ‘’ None of us is against accountability or rigor, we just want assessments that reflect what we teach in the classroom and that mold our students into successful participants in our various communities.‘’ What he said makes all the sense in the world. Why would you want your students to take tests that don’t reflect what they are currently learning. Its just normal to have a customized test for each learning method each school utilizes. Another interesting aspect of this boycott was that the local PTSA, and the student senate of Seattle also approved the refusal of the MAP tests.

                                                           Link to the article ''Under Pressure''
André Cartário