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[Susan notes: Note: This letter was addressed to Kit McCormick, Jesse Hagopian, Mario Shaunette and their colleagues at Garfield High School. Don Perl, is to my knowledge, the first teacher, when he taught 8th grade, in the country to refuse to give standardized tests. Gloria Pipkin and I chronicled this event in Substance. And Joe Scott-Coe talks with Don about what this meant:


Submitted to but not published

Dear Colleagues,

I think it is momentous -- and symbolic -- that your courageous act of resistance is occurring as we prepare to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think also that if we listen carefully we can hear communal applause from inspirational voices such as his.

And I hope too that you hear the applause all the way from the steppes and mountains of Colorado. No, I am not really trying to imitate the great orator, simply wanting to let you know that a profession is behind you, is perhaps holding its breath for the moment, but sensing that we are inching the wheel of history toward more humane educational policies.

What you are doing, raising your voices against the outrage of a testing regimen that so standardizes, so dehumanizes our children, is truly a magnificent act. And you make all of us who call ourselves teachers quite proud indeed.

In solidest of solidarity,

Don Perl is with The Coalition for Better Education and the Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado 80639



Don Perl

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