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This is a brief discussion of an encounter one of our members had at a meeting and some ideas for how to respond. Can you help us build a guerilla kit
Stefanie Rysdahl Fuhr Robert Valiant, I went to an accountability meeting tonight for my district. When someone stated that their school was getting a lot of flack for their CSAP test scores and the students they serve, the district guy got up and said that they will soon be able to pinpoint the test score that each student had to their teacher. So they could pinpoint the math score to the teacher if that student had a teacher at another school etc. (I was too vexed to hear him completely) But I then raised my hand and stated that another option would be to opt out of the test. I think they were ready to tie me to the stake. That I would be hurting the school my child attended if I did this. One DAC member asked me if I cared about my child's school. . . . . It was quite the hostile environment. This district has a lot of issues that I can't even begin to understand including huge budget cuts. I would be curious to know how much money could be saved by cutting data experts, test prep, other tests to tell how one will do on the tests, and of course the test itself. I was really shocked at how many seemed hostile to opting out of the test, and I mean parents in the audience.
7 hours ago · Like · 4
Robert Valiant They have created a world of fear. Fear of loss of revenue, fear of job loss, fear of loss of prestige. Opting out is a temporary fix, but ultimately we have to end the use of high-stakes tests and all of the rewards and punitive actions associated with them. Focusing on the errors is a start and may be the most valuable weapon we have. There are many technical reasons why the tests should not be used for closing schools, firing teachers, etc., but they are not easily explained to the lay public. Screw ups like the pineapple question, scoring errors and other obvious mistakes are easy to understand. Who wants their temperature taken with a faulty thermometer, especially if it leads to unneeded medication or other treatment.
6 hours ago · Like · 4
Sandra Brevard The response that Stefanie Rysdahl Fuhr describes is familiar. The "memo" on how to respond to any mention of opting out must have circulated the nation. I suggest exploring some prepared statement, some notes, that include questions related to the costs and a reminder that we are still living in a democracy, as troublesome as opposing ideas are, they must be heard and then, in my purse or pocket, I would pull out the results of the Pioneer Institute study, for example, on costs and ASK what the costs are. Parents, community members, and taxpayers have a right to know the return on investment for these initiatives. And I'd have an article related to the quality of the tests themselves, as Bob points out, and ASK.
54 minutes ago · Like
Robert Valiant Really good ideas, Sandra. We need a guerilla kit that people could walk around with, or at least carry to situations like Stephanie described. Official looking documents are great for stopping blowhards who have NO real answers, just rote responses from the party line. I now have made up Dump Duncan business cards that I hand out to people with the website for the letter to Obama, but a kit makes a lot of sense. Would anyone want to work on this idea?
* Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
* Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
* Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
* Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
* Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
* Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
* Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
* Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
* Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.
* Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
* Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.
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Murkowski, Lisa http://www.facebook.com/SenLisaMurkowski
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High stakes tests & charter schools make public schools less effective:
A) High stakes tests do not effectively gauge student ability, are harmful to children, and make public schools less effective.
B) Less than 20% of privately-managed public schools (charter schools) are successful; they also segregate children and minimize the decision-making power of parents & the community, ultimately making public schools less effective.
High-stakes tests do not effectively gauge student ability:
High-stakes tests are harmful to children:
High stakes tests make public schools less effective:
Less than 20% of charter schools are successful:
Charter schools segregate children:
Charter schools minimize the decision-making power of parents & the community:
Charter schools make public schools less effective: