Fighting to restore teaching, not constant testing
by Marsha Feinland; this article was originally published in Partisan issue no. 23, printed April 2007.
The Peace and Freedom Party supports and endorses "A Petition Calling for the Dismantling of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)." You can sign it online or download copies at www.educatorroundtable.org. The NCLB is up for reauthorization in Congress. Educator Roundtable wants to gather millions of signatures to fight against it.
Teacher education students at Fresno State University organized a conference March 23-24 in honor of the memory of Cesar Chavez. The first keynote speaker was Susan Ohanian, co-author with Kathy Emery of Why is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? (See review in Partisan number 21, available online at www.geocities.com/the_partisan.geo or by sending 50 cents to us for the back issue.) Ohanian is a prominent organizer of Educator Roundtable.
Professors of education, public school teachers, teacher union activists and some staff members of the California Teachers Association (CTA) gave speeches and workshops about the harmful effects of standardized education. The Kings-Tulare UNISERVE, a body of the CTA serving 36 small school districts, is circulating its own petition against NCLB and is also supporting the Educator Roundtable petition.
Education activists from Oakland and San Diego participated in the conference. The CTA locals in those districts have since pushed the leadership of the CTA and the National Education Association (NEA), which have previously opposed the Educator Roundtable petition, to take an active role in opposing NCLB. The United Teachers of Los Angeles is also fighting to restore teaching instead of constant testing in the schools.