Teachers becoming conscientious objectors of NCLB

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.madison.k12.wi.us/today/media/20060215.aristos.wasserman001.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. This is David Wasserman. Wasserman is a 36-year-old eighth grade middle school teacher at Sennett Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wasserman is also a conscientious objector of No Child Left Behind because it leaves many children behind.

Because he decided to stick to his morals, he refused to administer the first part of the NCLB-mandated state exams to his students. He almost lost his job.

The Associated Press reports Wasserman stuck to his morals almost to the end. See this excerpt:

David Wasserman had sat in the teachers’ lounge Tuesday, leaving his colleagues to oversee the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam. The test is used to measure whether schools are meeting annual benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind law, President Bush‘s signature education policy. Schools that do not meet goals can face sanctions.

Like many teachers, he said he believes the test is a poor way to measure student progress, takes up too much class time and is used unfairly to punish schools. So after years of growing frustration, he said he decided to be a “conscientious objector” this year.

Wasserman had planned to resume his protest for five more days of testing. But he said district officials warned he would be fired from Sennett Middle School if he did.

On Thursday, he was allowed to sit at his desk for 90 minutes but still have two other teachers oversee the test for his 30 eighth-grade students.

He stuck to his guns. Here’s more:

District spokesman Ken Syke said Wasserman fulfilled his required duties on Thursday and “administered the test.”

Syke said the district would not comment on any possible discipline for the initial protest, but Wasserman said he was told he would get a letter of reprimand in his personnel file for insubordination.

Wasserman, 36, said he was considering whether to appeal the reprimand with the teacher’s union but said he was glad to keep his job.

FairTest, a national group that opposes the overuse of standardized tests, said it was unaware of any other similar actions by teachers protesting the law.

I already reported on my experiences giving EOCs earlier in the year. I said it was enough to make a grown man cry. Eventually, this is going to resonate with someone in a position of power to either protest or do something about it.

E.C. 🙂


One Response

  1. “stuck to his guns”?
    looks to me like he folded.
    cool t-shirt. long live microcosm!

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