Support the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers in a Historic Contract Battle Against Standardized Testing and in Defense of the Public Schools

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:33 By Jesse Hagopian, I AM AN EDUCATOR | Video Report
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The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is in one of the most important struggles to defend public education and have taken one of the boldest stances against standardized testing in the country.  While the state mandates that students take the MCA standardized test, the SPFT—with the support of their many parent and community allies—know that it is a waste of time and resources and are attempting to bargain it out of their contract.

Beyond reducing standardized testing, SPFT’s contract proposal advocates for attracting and retaining teachers of color, education for the whole child, family teacher partnerships, smaller class sizes, culturally relevant education, high quality professional development, and preschool for all. 

Yet on September 19, management at the St. Paul Public Schools walked out of negotiations and asked the state mediator to close negotiations to the public so parents and other members of the community couldn’t hear what we were talking about.

The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, have worked hard over the last year to partner with parents, students and community members to identify the top priorities to deliver the schools St. Paul children deserve. Combined with research, they turned these priorities into an amazing report, “The Schools Saint Paul Students deserve”, which should serve as a model for educators around the nation.  That proposals can be seen here

Over the last few weeks, SPFT members have been having conversations and collecting signatures from over a thousand community members on this petition. Please join those that have already pledged their support by signing today!

Their struggle is ours!

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian is a public high school teacher in Seattle and a founding member of Social Equality Educators (SEE). He serves on the Board of Directors of Maha-Lilo - "Many Hands, Light Load" - a Haiti solidarity organization. Hagopian is a contributing author to the forthcoming book, "Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation" (Haymarket Books). He can be reached at:

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