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Abstract

In January of 2013 the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington made history when they announced their unanimous vote to boycott the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. Believing that this test was an inappropriate measure of their teaching and their students learning, the Garfield teacher refused to administer the test.

In this video we hear from Jesse Hagopian, a history teacher and activist from Garfield High School who was active in the boycott of the MAP test. Drawing connections between high-stakes standardized testing and the school-to-prison pipeline, the narrowing of curriculum, gang related violence and a myriad of other issues, Jesse argues that high-stakes standardized testing should be understood as causing both metaphorical and literal violence. Jesse then goes on to explain the transformative power of resistance and the power and possibilities that exist when teachers, parents, and students come together for a common cause.

As a result of the Garfield MAP boycott, teachers, parents and activist across the country have begun to question the use of high stakes testing and many are organizing against them in their own communities. When the Garfield Teachers first began their boycott, teachers, students and parents from across the country sent in pictures of support pledging their solidarity with Garfield. These pictures, as well as other pictures from the Garfield Boycott and the national activism it inspired, are used throughout this video.

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