Audrey Beardsley: The Silencing of the Educators, A Dangerous Trend

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NM gag orders silencing educators. That means they can’t talk about for fear of state retaliation and losing their jobs. Being over-the-hill and out of the game has its benefits ~ and carries with it the obligation to speak up for and about the silenced

Diane Ravitch's blog

Audrey Beardsley, a professor at Arizona State University, recently visited parents, educators, students, and state leaders in New Mexico. There she learned that the state had adopted gag orders for teachers, forbidding them from discussing or expressing an opinion about the state tests (PARCC).

She writes:

Under the “leadership” of Hanna Skandera — former Florida Deputy Commissioner of Education under former Governor Jeb Bush and head of the New Mexico Public Education Department — teachers throughout the state are being silenced.

New Mexico now requires teachers to sign a contractual document that they are not to “diminish the significance or importance of the tests” (see, for example, slide 7 here) or they could lose their jobs. Teachers are not to speak negatively about the tests or say anything negatively about these tests in their classrooms or in public; if they do they could be found in violation of their contracts…

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