by The Philadelphia Student Union June 8, 2015
“This project is a product of students taking power”…
An Update from the #MoreThanATest Campaign. Written by Nomi Martin-Brouillette.
Students have been working hard on the More Than A Test Campaign. We rolled out our twitter campaign, and have gotten hundreds of pictures from schools around the city, and country, from students, teachers, administrators, community members, and parents. Each picture we have taken has been a conversation and a spark of ideas about standardized testing and public education.
I think our site has contributed to a growing movement in the United States around how students learn and standardized testing. Each new student who takes a picture is realizing that they can do something to change the way things are. Each new adult who sees what we have been working on is seeing the power students have to organize for something they believe in. Each person who might have thought standardized testing was a good way to gauge where students are sees hundreds of reasons why we are more than a test.
As the lead organizer of this campaign, it feels awesome every time someone new takes a picture. To see other students who are as fed up as I am with being forced to prove ourselves in a way that is not representative of our who selves feels really good. This project is a product of students taking power. My friends and I recognize that not only do standardized tests not measure how smart we are, they do not measure how passionate, wise, thoughtful or kind we are.
Spending energy the Keystones is exhausting. I have heard my friends say the tests make them feel stupid, angry, and burnt out. In the midst of sitting for four hours a day to fill in bubbles, students are organizing. Students are letting their communities know that we won’t stand for letting each other not graduate because we didn’t score high enough on a standardized test.
This campaign has been hard work. However, this work is energizing. We have been going to public places to talk to people and collect pictures. We have been striking up conversations with our fellow students, talking about what frustrates us about standardized tests and what we can do about it. We’ve been talking to our parent, teachers, and principles about what kind of educational environment we envision for ourselves.
Keep checking back in on the campaign. Most importantly, tell us why you are #MoreThanATest!
Nomi Martin-Brouillette is a member and leader at the Philadelphia Student Union, a soon-to-be graduate of Science Leadership Academy and soon-to-be freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. She is one of the founding members of the Science Leadership Academy Philadelphia Student Union chapter.