Organizing Toolkit

How To Raise Our Teacher Voices

An Organizing Toolkit for Teachers of Conscience

This is a toolkit of resources that has been created and used by contributors to More Than A Score as well as others in the fight against market based education reforms. Over the past few years we have seen increased media coverage of teachers across the country who are going public with their intention of being conscientious objectors. It is important to take steps to build awareness and community support, so we have included a list of ways people have organized, including discussions, committees, forums, written public statements, and more.

Let us be clear, there is no public education crisis other than the disastrous test and punish climate we find ourselves in.  The real crisis is that more and more of us are leaving the profession and fewer undergraduates are choosing to enter teacher preparation programs. We know why. We are being managed through a process of failed business policies that utilize efficiency through stress and we are being blamed for a fabricated education crisis.

There is hope. With the support of parents and students who are opting out, more and more teachers are choosing to take a stand. We can lay down and let another piece of our profession and our students’ resources get stripped away, or fight for our vision. From Garfield High School’s MAP test boycott in Seattle, Washington, to Saucedo Middle School in Chicago, Illinois where teachers held firm and won for their students, there is power in numbers, and that means we have the power to enact change.

Jia Lee – Teachers of Conscience

Section A: Public Statements of Conscience

  1. Michelle Gunderson’s Pledge for Ethical Use of Student Data
  2. Kenneth Goodman’s Declaration of Professional Conscience for Teachers (1990)
  3. School-Based Resolutions Against High Stakes Testing – P.S. 29 Teacher Resolution
  4. An Ethic For Teachers of Conscience in Public Education
  5. Resistance to High Stakes Testing Serves the Cause of Equity in Education – Jesse Hagopian, Garfield High School, Seattle, Washington

Section B: Organizing School Action Committees and Forums Around Testing

  1. “Teachers Talk Testing” – A Public Forum Held at P.S. 321 in Brooklyn, NY
  2. Parent Advocacy Committee (PAC) – P.S. 146, Brooklyn New School
  3. Parent Advocacy Committee (PAC) – P.S. 3, Charrette School
  4. Join The Movement Against A Test-Obsessed System Forum
  5. Where do we go from here? Stop Common Core on Long Island Forum
  6. “Earth School Teachers Want You To Know” Parent Information Page

Section C: Refusing High Stakes Testing as a Matter of Conscience

  1. Jesse’s Journey – Documentary Short on Garfield High School MAP Test Boycott
  2. Stand Up: The Day the Teachers Said No – Documentary Short on Garfield High School MAP Test Boycott
  3. Teacher of Conscience Letter & Position Paper
  4. List of Teachers Who Have Refused High Stakes Testing:

Section D: Legislation

  1. Rick Bobrick – Legal Protection for Contentious Objectors
  2. Chicago Teachers Union – Resolution Against the PARCC Assessment
  3. Resolution to Support the “I Refuse Movement”
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