Update: an earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Diane Ravitch as a former U.S. Secretary of Education. Ravitch was an assistant U.S. Secretary of Education.
A statement supporting the test boycott that started at Seattle’s Garfield High has been signed by more than 60 educators and researchers across the country.
The signers include author Jonathan Kozol, who has written extensively about public education; Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education and now an outspoken critic of many current school reforms; Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis; and Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The statement was written by Brian Jones, a New York City public-school teacher and doctoral student and Wayne Au, a Garfield High graduate who is now an assistant professor at the University of Washington-Bothell. Au released the statement and the list of signers at a news conference Monday at Garfield.
The statement outlines concerns about the growth and costs of testing across the nation, and praises Garfield teachers for striking a blow against “the overuse and misuse of standardized tests.”
Eleven teachers at ORCA K-8, a Seattle alternative school, are boycotting along with the Garfield teachers, and some at Salmon Bay K-8 are considering doing the same. Teachers at other Seattle schools also have sent letters of support for the protesting teachers, as have a number of other groups. They include the Garfield PTSA, the Garfield High student government, the Seattle Student Senate, the Seattle Education Association and Parents Across America’s Seattle chapter.