I am a fan of footnotes, including my own, and probably my favorite footnote in Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program to Rescue Public Education is #1 for the chapter entitled “Measure What Matters.” The footnote reads, in its entirety: “The single best source of information about testing and resistance to over-testing is the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, better known as FairTest. FairTest regularly publishes a free scorecard of developments that you can subscribe to. It’s a small non-profit, however, so I hope readers will consider contributing. Over the years, I’ve found FairTest to be an honest and honorable advocate, and, trust me, not all advocates can be trusted.”
FAIRTEST itself is not a footnote, of course. It’s an incredibly vibrant and important organization that provides an essential service. It’s small and non-bureaucratic—and, because its cause is decidedly out of favor with the mega-foundations, wealthy hedge fund guys, and others who dabble in education, it’s always struggling.
You can help. Every fall FAIRTEST honors those it identifies as ‘Heroes in Education’ at its annual dinner. This year’s event will be in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 26th. FAIRTEST will present the Deborah Meier Award to John H. Jackson and Barbara Madeloni. More about them follows:
Dr. John H. Jackson is President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a high quality public education for all students regardless of race or gender. He joined Schott after seven years at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Dr. Jackson also served on the Obama-Biden Education Policy transition team and was Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton Administration. He holds a J.D. from the University of Illinois and a Doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Barbara Madeloni is President of the 110,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association and a staunch advocate for students and educators in public schools and higher education. She is committed to racial and economic justice and to building effective unions in alliance with parents, students and communities. She was a key leader in the successful 2016 Massachusetts campaign to block the expansion of charter schools. Madeloni is senior lecturer (on leave) in the Labor Studies Department at UMass-Amherst, where she previously worked at the School of Education. She also has taught high school and worked as a psychotherapist.
Please consider going. Ticket prices vary by status, but a ‘Champion’ ticket ($150) gets you into both the reception and the presentation, where you might get to swap stories and take selfies with the likes of Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Michelle Fine, Lani Guinier, Jonathan Kozol, Karen Lewis, Deborah Meier, and Diane Ravitch.
If you cannot attend, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to FAIRTEST, which you can do on-line or by sending a check to PO Box 300204, Boston MA 02130.
One more request: Please circulate this PDF widely.