Articles

Teachers of Garfield High School in Seattle Say No!

Seattle School Challanges Pentagon ASVAB TestingBy unanimous vote, the entire faculty at Garfield High School in Seattle voted not to administer the MAP test of reading and mathematics.

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the faculty of an entire school refused to give mandated tests.

The action of the Garfield High School faculty could have national ramifications because it shows other teachers that there is strength in unity and that they do not have to endure unethical demands with passivity and resignation.

For their courage, their integrity, and their intelligence, I add the faculty of Garfield High School to the honor roll as champions of public education.

The teachers agreed that the tests are a waste of time and money. Students don’t take them seriously because they don’t count toward their grades. But teachers will be evaluated based on the results of these tests that students don’t take seriously. Even the organization that created the tests say they should not be used for teacher evaluation, but the district requires them anyway.

I hope that the example set by Garfield High School will resonate in school districts across the United States and around the world. High-stakes testing is bad for students, bad for teachers, and bad for education.

Militarism in Education

Andreas Speck -

Militarize our Children“On 1 August 1914, it was too late for pacifist propaganda, it was too late for militarist propaganda – in fact the militarists then only harvested what they have sown 200 years before. We have to sow."1

This is what German pacifist Kurt Tucholsky wrote in an article titled “On effective pacifism”, published in 1927. More than 80 years later, the militarists are still sowing. The presence of the military in schools is only the most outrageous example of the sowing and planting of militarist values into the minds of children and soon-to-be soldiers, or supporters of militarism and war. It is the most outrageous, because on the one hand schools should be about learning positive values and knowledge, and not about propaganda, and on the other hand children are most vulnerable to propaganda and indoctrination.



Militarist propaganda


A key function of military presence at schools is propaganda. This can be very obvious – as we can see in Serdar M. Degirmencioglu's article on militarism in schools in Turkey (see page 4 in the article in The Broken Rifle, March 2011, No. 88) – or more subtle, as the German military's use of the simulation game “Politics & International Security” in schools and universities (see Michael Schulze von Glaßer's article on page 9 - ibid). This military propaganda is aimed at ingraining militarist values into the minds of children, so that they do not question the existence and use of the military in later life.

Navy Steals: The military's new interest in STEM education

Seth Kershner -

Although women make up about half of the United States workforce, they represent just 24 percent of careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In order to correct this, major nonprofit groups have been organizing STEM enrichment camps for middle- and high-school girls, driven by the philosophy that more women will pursue STEM careers if their interest is piqued at an early age.

But recently, some girls-only STEM programs have gone beyond fostering interest in science and math among the next generation of women. Branches of the U.S. military—in particular, the Navy—have increasingly been using these programs to market the military to girls as young as 11 and 12.

Founded in 1974, Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) organizes dozens of STEM conferences for middle- and high-school girls each year. According to its website, the EYH “recently had the opportunity to partner with the Navy and learn about careers where young women are underrepresented.” They give girls the following pitch: “You probably never gave much thought to having a career with the United States Navy. Many girls don’t.… We want to introduce you to several inspiring professional women who are currently active in the Navy and serve on aircraft carriers, who serve as Navy divers, or who serve in other interesting Navy careers.” Accompanying the text is a handy-dandy link to the Navy’s recruiting website.

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