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[Susan notes: Alabama teacher Steve Orel sends his support to the Chicago teachers who have announced their refusal to give the CASE.]

Published in
10/01/2002

To the editor

Dear Umbreen Qadeer, fellow teachers, students, and parents:

It is inspiring to no end to learn that at least 11 teachers at Curie High School in Chicago have announced their refusal to give the CASE test in
January. What a relief it is to learn about more teachers who believe that students come first before standards and testing. How refreshing to see that teachers are sticking together to defend students, teaching, education, and democracy. Your students and their parents are truly fortunate to have advocates such as you in their classrooms.

We have seen the devastating effects of standards and testing here in Birmingham, AL, where 522 high school students were pushed out of school
prior to the administration of the SAT-9 test in order to raise test scores. How tragic this was!

I truly believe that if you stand by your students, and with each other, you will all win in the long run, even if the journey is difficult.

I would like to share some remarks by WEB DuBois, made to a graduating class nearly a hundred years ago, which has helped me keep my bearings when the winds of life and justice are tumultuous:

"The truth is today, be good, be decent, be honorable and self-sacrificing and you will not always be happy. You will often be desperately unhappy. You may even be crucified, dead and buried; and the third day you will be just as dead as the first. But with the death of your happiness may easily come increased happiness and satisfaction and fulfillment for other people strangers, unborn babes, uncreated worlds. If this is not sufficient, never try it - - remain hogs."

The Education of Black People, W.E.B. DuBois

Dear friends in Chicago: Please do not hesitate to call upon us if there is anything which we can do to be of assistance or support. We are so very proud of each of you.

Warmest peacebuilding greetings,

Steve Orel
World of Opportunity
7429 Georgia Road
Birmingham, AL 35212
205-271-9532

Steve Orel


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