cover image More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing

More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing

Edited by Jesse Hagopian. Haymarket (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (302p) ISBN 978-1-60846-392-3

The eagerly engaged voices assembled here present an action plan to combat the increase in high-stakes standardized testing currently plaguing K–12 education. Editor and Seattle teacher Hagopian, whose boycott of testing at Garfield High joined a wave of opt-out movements across the country, creates space for the voices of teachers, parents, and students in the ongoing debate about education reform and testing. Readily highlighting the drive to turn public education over to private companies, Hagopian and crew scathingly indict test preparation giant Pearson, the Chicago Public School System, the arrogance of the Texas State Legislature, and programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top; Education Secretary Arne Duncan also comes under fire for his support of repetitive standardized testing over more free-form education. But the focus is on doing rather than shouting, and each essay in this anthology is a blueprint for civic action. Cauldierre McKay, Aaron Regunberg, and Tim Shea offer a lively account of the audacious, well-orchestrated protest at the entrance of the Rhode Island Department of Education in Providence, where students put on zombie makeup and ultimately convinced the state to issue a three-year moratorium on standardized testing. Tension builds in parent Kristin Roberts’s chronicle of the creative “play-in” protests in Chicago that helped end testing for kindergartners, and teacher Sarah Chambers’s hard-hitting piece exposes the bullying tactics of the Chicago Public School System under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The contributors build on Hagopian’s optimism for the blooming of an “educational spring” and make this book exceptional. (Jan.)