New York 8th-Graders Boycott Practice Exam But Teacher May Get Fired.
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, you did a story yesterday: "New York 8th-Graders Boycott Practice Exam But Teacher May Get Ax." He was fired, and what happened?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Yeah. Well, this is an amazing story in the South Bronx at an intermediate school. Last week, 160 out of 165 eighth graders in six classes boycotted a standardized-a practice test for a state test, because they were sick and tired of the constant testing that they've been submitted to over the years. They're constantly, they say, being pulled out of their classes for standardized tests, sometimes for practice tests, sometimes just for dummy tests that the testing companies are trying to try out on students. And so, the entire eighth grade of this one intermediate school rebelled. They refused to take the test. They handed in a petition demanding an end to the oppression of all these tests.
And the response of the local principal was to fire the social studies teacher, because somehow she felt that he had instigated all of this. The students I interviewed said that they did it because they've been taught critical thinking and that they've decided that this kind of testing juggernaut has to be challenged.
AMY GOODMAN: Douglas Avella has been fired?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, yes. He was a probationary teacher. The principal removed him from the classroom the day of the boycott and has now notified him yesterday that she intends to fire him.