We are inspired by the Garfield teachers who refused to administer the MAP standardized test. This action, coming only a few months after the Rainier Beach High School Walkout, is a sign that struggles in the Seattle Public Schools could be heating up.
Garfield High School is also located in the historically Black Central District, where community activists have been struggling for nine months against the creation of a new Juvenile Detention Center. Here is an article about that struggle, by folks from the neighborhood.
Testing is a tool for sorting students by caste – along lines of race and so-called “criminal history”. Some students at Garfield and other schools are tracked toward high paying jobs in the region’s tech industry and other students are tracked toward that new Juvenile Detention center and eventually onward to prison and a lifetime of low-wage labor in jobs that discriminate against ex-convicts.
The Garfield teachers’ resistance to testing and the anti-jail struggle happening down the street are two parts of the same freedom struggle.