Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Green Revolution

No, this is not another former Soviet state pushing for democracy. However, this uprising against an oppressive regime is fueled by students who are taking on the system...the Texas public school system. Rather than regurgitate the watered down material being shoved at them in preparation for TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), several students--some as young as 11 years old-- are protesting, even boycotting, the test and railing against the widespread practice of "teaching to the test." BTW, these are bright, well-behaved achievers, not kids looking for an excuse to ditch class.

Maeghan Gibson, 17, another Advanced Placement student, decided to protest earlier this year. She and her fellow students would take the TAKS tests but not without raising issues they thought should be discussed.

Protest T-shirts were made with the slogans: "Walking standardized test score," "I am not in the equation of my education" and "Total Annihilation of Knowledge and

Gibson took orders for more than 60 green T-shirts. The green is part of a joke based on whispered stories about how students who wear green are more likely to pass TAKS tests.

But word got around, and the shirts were temporarily confiscated by the school administration and deemed "disruptive."

It is highly unlikely that their protest will have any effect on the future of TAKS. One also has to wonder why their surprisingly supportive parents don't home educate these frustrated children who are demanding (literally, read the article) the freedom to learn, discuss and explore. However, it is refreshing and encouraging to read about these inspired products of the PSS who have somehow managed to maintain their desire to learn. Well worth a click and read.

Power to the people!

[top: Haltom High School juniors Chase Robinson, left, and Maeghan Gibson; above: Mia Kang, 14, a freshman at San Antonio's MacArthur High School]

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