Chicago has got it going on …
By it – I mean a huge ‘Opt Out’ movement. Parents have figured out that their children are taking too many standardized tests. They have figured out that the high stakes attached to those tests are destroying their schools and robbing their kids of a true education. And, they have had enough.
Take a look at this video of Chicago parent, Rousemary Vega, at today’s Chicago Board of Education meeting. She opted her child out of testing and now she is speaking up for Chicago teachers who are being threatened with disciplinary action.
She questions the Board: “I opt my children out of ISAT testing and the teachers get in trouble for it?” Then she speaks up and tells the truth, to a crowd of applause: “You shouldn’t punish teachers for standing up for our children. They are the ones who know what is going on in the classrooms.”
Watch her video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS6Q2WzFliA
It is no wonder that Rousemary is what we fondly call a BADASS MOM. She has had it with these so called reforms that led to the closing of her own children’s neighborhood schools. She has had it with the over testing of her children. She has had it with these for-profit charter schools and management companies that are pilfering off her neighborhood schools.
She tells the Board of Ed: “Private, charter, whatever it is … it all sounds the same – Ching Ching Ching Money Money”
Then one by one, in the space of her two minutes at the microphone, she asks the right questions:
“Can we be respected as parents?”
“How fair is that for my student?”
“How do I explain that to my kids?
“How do I explain that their school wasn’t good enough for them but it is good enough for outsiders?”
“Why do you break up communities and expect us to sit still?”
And as she is escorted away, with her voice choking back tears, she calls out the words that bring tears to every mother watching: “I need more than two minutes … as a mother I am asking for … “
End tape. Rousemary didn’t get another minute.
But she will be back. And, she will continue to inspire teachers and parents everywhere. And they will be back, too …
One by one. This will happen.
Thank you, Rousemary Vega. You are my personal hero !
For more on the situation in Chicago, check out this article:
For more on opting out : UnitedOptOut.com
Photo Credit: http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/