As I asked that student in 1986, I ask you now, Chancellor Syverud: Why are you here? I am really trying to understand. And I know, because I read in their deep, critical descriptions of what it is like to be heard on this campus, that the students who are THE General Body want to know this as well.
The natural evolution of Western democratic societies could be summed up this way: The first step is to develop the economy and the educational system. The second step is the establishment of a general culture for the citizens and the rule of law. The last step is democratization. If the above order is out of place, a society has to pay a severely heavy price.
We must listen to all students, regardless of what they look like, their ethnicity, or their sociocultural backgrounds. They remind us of why we are lifelong learners. Meaningful dissent can be the foundation for meaningful change. If we want problem solvers in our society, then we must let all students consider (openly) when things are and are not working.
Parents are refusing to let schools give their kids the tests. Teachers are refusing to administer the tests. School boards are begging for relief from testing mandates. That's all nice, say the dwindling number of defenders of linking accountability to standardized testing, but if we got rid of tests what would you replace them with?