As the jaws of destruction and disruption approach to privatize their schools, teachers and parents at many schools in Puerto Rico have organized to boycott the standardized tests that will be used to rationalize the closing of their schools.

Jesse Hagopian tells the story here, after interviewing Mercedes Martinez, president of the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico.

Teachers in Puerto Rico, she told him, were inspired by the historic strike against MAP testing at Garfield High School in Seattle, which Jesse helped organize.

“Another part of the disaster capitalist approach to schooling has been to impose the same high-stakes standardized testing regime that we have in the mainland U.S. on the Puerto Rican education system. High-stakes testing is being used to punish schools, students, and teachers. With teachers living in fear of the consequences low scores, they are forced to teach to the test, not the student, and it is causing a narrowing of the curriculum to what the corporate test makers believe is important to learn (For example, I don’t think the lessons of how to organize your community against corporate education reform will be on the next test). These tests are used as exit exams in high school and are denying thousands of students the chance to graduate. Perhaps worst of all, the testocracy has trained people to believe that wisdom is the ability to eliminate wrong answer choices on a multiple choice exam, rather than to be creative, empathize, or solve real life problems.

“But a mighty movement of parents, students, and teachers has risen up to boycott and opt out of these tests as a way to reclaim public education and fight for authentic forms of assessment.”