When I learned Tuesday that teachers at a school in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood had voted unanimously to refuse to administer the ISAT to their students, I was surprised. I was surprised that the members of the Saucedo faculty were courageous enough to put their jobs on the line.
In the midst of the current finger-pointing, vitriol, political might and gut-wrenching sadness surrounding Chicago's impending school closures, one might easily conclude that the fate of education is beyond our control. It is not.
Many school systems, like those in Chicago, are funded through property taxes. This obviously leads to schools in wealthier neighborhoods having more resources than schools in poorer neighborhoods, like the ones Rahm Emanuel closed this year.
Teachers spend billions out-of-pocket on classroom supplies. It's not the parents who aren't investing; they spend hours at parent-teacher conferences and helping with homework. So where should Secretary Duncan direct his ire?
The parents and community members fighting the school closings clearly are the "good guys" in this dismal scenario. But their heroic energy and indomitable courage are being expended for the sake of maintaining a status quo that is, frankly, unconscionable.