The High Stake of High-Stakes Testing

The High Stake of High-Stakes Testing

Dave Orphal
Teacher
Zoe Barnum High School
orphald@eurekacityschools.org

Abstract

This article first appeared in Alternative Network Journal.

After forty-nine states have adopted state standards for education
and as the number of states attaching high-stakes examinations
to these standards grows, it becomes more necessary for educators
to enter into the debate over these standards and tests. This
article takes a critical examination at some of the basic pro-testing
arguments, and discusses some of the possible, problematic consequences
of testing. Are we redefining learning and knowledge in limited
and perhaps dangerous ways when we choose to make educational
decisions based on these standards and tests? This article attempts
to begin a discussion of this question.

Introduction

On May 12, 2000, a memo appeared in my mailbox at the alternative
high school at which I teach. The principal of my school had
sent a memo to the staff along with two articles from Thrust for
Educational Leadership (May/June 2000), "Are Standards Worth
It?" by Jim Cox and "12 Tips for Breaking the Student
Achievement Barrier" by Carolyn J. Downey. The memo stated
that while teachers at my school had been exposed to several articles
arguing against standardized testing, these articles would convince
us of the efficacy of standardized tests. It is important to
note that teachers in general and teachers at my alternative high
school in particular have been exposed to little research behind
high-stakes and standardized tests. This may be because literature
addressing fundamental issues about testing seems limited. Both
of the articles attached to the principal's memo seemed to be
in support of the Stanford Achievement Test - Ninth Edition (SAT-9)
and the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program but
upon close and critical examination failed to convince me of the
efficacy of the SAT-9 and standardized testing in general.
Both articles appear to deal with the SAT-9 by assuming that the
test is sound and valid and that the practice of standardized
testing is equally sound and valid. In this article, I will attempt
to look behind these assumptions by presenting some of the basic
pro-testing arguments, discussing some possible elements of the
connection between standards and standardized testing, offering
an assessment of standardized high-stakes testing, and discussing
some of the possible implications and consequences of the use
of standardized tests.
Some Basic Pro-Testing Arguments
Accountability and high standards are two buzzwords central to
the arguments for standardized tests. There seems to be a feeling
that schools are not teaching young people the important skills
needed to succeed in society. Numerous examples exist of young
people with high-school diplomas and even bachelor's degrees who
cannot effectively write or do basic mathematics. State legislators
propose declarative standards of what skills all children should
have when they graduate and standardized tests to assess if these
skills have been taught and learned as being the tools needed
to ensure every child becomes educated.
Both Cox's and Downey's articles assume the SAT-9 is a sound and
good measurement of student achievement. In his article Are Standards
Worth It?, Jim Cox sums up the SAT-9 with the phrase, "The
SAT-9 is OK. I liken the issue to the old adage of killing the
messenger when the bad news is delivered. Really, the test is
OK"(Cox, 2000, p.10.) Cox argues that state standards of
achievement can be integrated into classroom practice for the
benefit of students. The state standards are a laundry list of
prescribed knowledge, and every state legislature save Iowa, has
thus far adopted their own state set of standards. The California
legislature declares what skills and information every child should
know at each age/grade level (Meier, 2000). Cox (2000) further
asserts that if teachers believe: 1) "all kids taking a particular
course (should) be exposed to the same content", 2) "we
should assess progress in the areas that are most important for
students to attain", and 3) "comparable work should
be given close to the same grade, regardless of who the teacher
is,"(p.9), then they believe in state standards. If these
standards are a list of knowledge teachers and parents can support,
then Cox surmises that one does not need to take a large leap
in logic to find standardized tests to be the best possible tool
for assessing student achievement of these state standards. Cox
contends that it is a perceived non-congruence between California's
standards and the SAT-9 test that is responsible for any negative
teacher/parent reaction to the test. Cox's article then describes
a plan in which the state standards can be married to classroom
reality and measured with a standardized test.
Downey (2000) offers no argument for or against the SAT-9 or any
other standardized test. The test is assumed to be an efficient,
valid measure of knowledge. By failing to look critically at
the test or the testing process in general, Downey takes a running
leap toward teaching to the test. Downey (2000) continues on
this theme by offering her two most important tips for raising
student achievement on the standardized test: "1) teach the
learning tested, and 2) teach the learning the way it is tested"
(p.6). Echoing her ideas, Cox (2000) offers the WYTIWYG principle
(What You Teach Is What You Get) to educators in a veiled attempt
to promote teaching to the SAT-9. Cox then addresses the content
areas and performance objectives that are not addressed by the
SAT-9. Though Cox never enumerates these areas, one can assume
they include such skills listed on California's Social Studies
Framework as, "Students identify bias and prejudice in historical
interpretations" (Education, 1998, p.40). While a question,
a series of questions, or a project addressing this intellectual
ability could be given a student, it is difficult to imagine a
multiple choice test question that would. Because these content
areas and objectives are difficult to assess in a standardized
way, they are not addressed on the SAT-9. Because they are not
addressed on the SAT-9, Cox (2000) admonishes, "then the
standards in area 1 (the area not addressed in the SAT-9) are
not important. Quit pretending that they are" (Cox, 2000,
p.11)
Jonathan Kozol and Gary Nash seem to support the idea of standards
even if they are against the standards represented by the high-stakes
tests. Kozol (2000) posits, "…without any grounding
in substantial knowledge, a critical consciousness is of embarrassingly
little use: You end up being not a smart dissenter but a clumsy
one; and no one listens to your views because they are intermixed
with ignorance and error"(p. xiii). Nash (2000) adds to
this argument by observing that local control without state standards
have, in the past, led to some school boards implementing a retrograde
curriculum that offered oppressive ideologies.
The phrase "teaching to the test" may not be a popular
one among educators, but if the test is a valid assessment of
knowledge, why not teach to it? Cox and Downey seem to assume
that the SAT-9 is a valid and efficient measure of knowledge.
In the next section, I will critically examine the link between
standards and standardized tests.
Standards and Standardized Tests
Cox's arguments for state standards are appealing in their first
read. He asks, "How many of us believe that is reasonable
for all kids taking a particular course to be exposed to the same
content?" (Cox, 2000). This question, which many teachers
may jump to answer "yes," offers an opportunity to discuss
the definition of knowledge in a critical way. What constitutes
knowledge is a social decision influenced by political and historical
pressures. In the United States, what constitutes knowledge is
framed from a European-American, middle-class male perspective.
Take, for example, one hypothetical question from a SAT-9-type
test. While using an actual question from the SAT-9 would provide
a more convincing model, I, like all teachers who administer the
exam, was required to sign an affidavit stating that I would not
reveal any of the test questions. This hypothetical question,
while being too modern an event for the SAT-9, is similar to some
of the items on the test. The correct answer to the question,
"What was the purpose of the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1998-1999?"
would be "to end ethnic cleansing of Albanians by Serbs and
Slobedon Milosevic." Other possible perspectives such as
"to reestablish a sphere of influence for the United States
in Eastern Europe," "to force a confrontation between
the United States and Serbia," or "to establish the
U.S. as the sole remaining superpower" are not available
for consideration. Therefore, to understand the significance
of the bombing from a Yugoslavian perspective or a Russian perspective
would be incorrect according to California's current definition
of knowledge. To understand history in a complex and critical
way, such as noting that the Yugoslavian bombing in 1998-1999
was born of complex socieo-political events and can be understood
differently from different perspectives, is in essence discouraged
by state standards as represented by the standardized test. The
state standards, as the SAT-9 represents them, present history
as facts to be memorized rather than a rich series of events and
perspectives to be assessed and analyzed critically.
How important is it for all students to be exposed to the same
information within the context of similar courses? On the surface,
it seems that the only fair method would indeed be to give all
students the same information at roughly the same time in their
development, as is currently done in public and private education.
The problem lies in the fact that the logic behind such a stance
is fallacious. The notion that students need to be taught the
same information at the same time has as its premise that students
need to be taught fixed and agreed upon facts and that these facts
represent a single, immutable reality. If students are unable
to perceive that reality shifts according to various perspectives,
perceptions, and interpretations, they have not only a restricted
arena for debate, but one that is nonexistent. W.I. Thomas (1923)
wrote that whatever we define as real becomes real in its consequences.
Thus, people may not only have multiple perspectives in regard
to an event, they may actually experience the event as a different
reality, making their experience real and creating in essence
the existence of multiple realities.
This difference between perspective and reality may seem moot,
but it may have tremendous consequences in teaching and learning.
If teachers provide instruction in which an event is viewed from
multiple perspectives, it is all too easy to label one perspective
as being correct or more valid than the others, as happens constantly
in any history class in the United States. However, if events
are viewed from the perspective of being different realities for
different people, it becomes difficult to declare one reality
as correct or more valid than any other. Herein lies the crucial
flaw in tests like the SAT-9: they reinforce the notion that possession
of a specified set of facts within a single reality is truly knowledge.
Knowledge requires that individuals are able to analyze and assess
facts and events, to view them from a variety of perspectives,
to be able to observe that the ways in which some people experience
events is a completely different reality for other actors in that
same event. This kind of complex knowing contrasts sharply with
the surface level knowledge that is tested by the SAT-9.
When we teach and test based on the assumption of a single reality,
we set up a dualistic nature of knowledge that may hamper future
learning. Take, for example, what happens in college courses
when alternative realities of history are taught. Because K-12
history is typically taught from a dominant paradigm that is European
American, male, professional class, heterosexual, and Christian,
the alternative realities college undergraduates typically face
are realities of people of color, non-heterosexuals, working class
and poor people, feminists, and non-Christians. The emotional
crisis that many students experience after confronting such realities
may be linked to previous schooling that emphasized one reality
with correct and incorrect interpretations of that reality (Kumashiro,
2000).
Cox (2000) also asks, "How many of us believe that we should
assess progress in the areas that are most important for students
to attain?" (p.9). Again, the simple answer is all of us,
but does the necessity of assessment really mean we need standardized
tests? To give an example from 1999, my Civics class became engaged
in the March 7th elections, particularly in regard to California's
ballot measure, Proposition 21 (the Juvenile Justice Initiative.)
After weeks of studying the proposition and the arguments for
and against, it became a reasonable necessity for me to assess
their progress on that work. It would have been simple to design
an objective test (true/false, multiple choice) to assess their
grasp of the content of the proposition, the various arguments
for and against, and the initiative process. Filling in the bubbles
on such a test is not an authentic task, however. In the real
world, voters vote; they do not take tests. In the real world,
political activists demonstrate and educate; they do not take
tests. With my class' desire for an authentic assessment, we
decided to become politically active and create several publications
regarding the proposition and held a rally. These events assessed
my students' knowledge about the topic. They had to be knowledgeable
about the proposition and its arguments to successfully create
and publish their own political tract on Prop. 21 and organize
their political demonstrations.
Standards do not have to mean standardized tests. I understand
that many teachers can thoughtfully agree on one set of content
standards and deem these to be the areas in which student achievement
is important. Even my arguments for a pedagogy that affirms multiple
realities can be turned into a prescriptive set of standards to
be taught. However, when we leap from these standards to the
utilization of standardized tests, we leap over the primary educator
in charge of teaching children the skills enumerated in the standards.
By requiring standardized tests, we may be assuming that teachers
are either unable or unwilling to teach their students the skills
and information that the state has declared knowledge. If teachers
are unable to teach children these skills, then I believe it is
unwise to set up a punitive system of accountability to rectify
this situation. Instead, the state may want to consider trainings
to teachers in how to deliver instruction to students in ways
that are congruent with the state standards. If, however, we
assume that teachers are unwilling to teach their students the
skills called for in these standards, then a system of rewards
and consequences may seem to be a viable solution. I disagree,
though. Instead, if teachers are in fact unwilling to teach their
students these skills and information, then I believe an open
and honest dialog is needed among teachers, administrators, and
policy makers in order to discover and address why they are not
being taught to students. If teachers are unwilling to address
standards because of a philosophical difference between the teachers'
understanding of their content area and the state-sanctioned definition
of knowledge, as it would be in my case, no amount of punitive
measures will affect the state's desired change. Teachers of
quality will not allow themselves to be bullied into what they
consider poor teaching. Some testing supporters have argued that
if the standards are good standards and if the test is a good
test, then what is wrong with teaching to them? In the next section
I will detail some of the possible problems associated with teaching
to any test or any set of standards.
The Dangers of Teaching to the Test
Teaching to the test may be counter-productive to critical thinking
and multiple, diverse perspectives on reality. Teaching to the
test, which both of the aforementioned articles seem to promote,
assumes that the state's definition of knowledge is valid and
true. In the case of history, neither is the case. History is
more likely a complex series of human interactions based on values,
desires, and opportunities. Often these desires, values, and
opportunities are in conflict with each other and with the desires,
values, and opportunities of others. By assuming history to be
an inevitable sequence of events, we may over-simplify our study
of the past in a dangerous way. The effects may even manifest
themselves on Election Day when over half of registered voters
fail to see themselves as significant enough to bother to vote
(Meier, 2000).
Some may argue that the link between standards and voter apathy
is tenuous (Thernstrom, 2000). Meier (2000) counters that when
young people see their local adults (teachers and local administrators)
deskilled by an omnipotent state, apathy and a sense of powerlessness
can only result. One may see her arguments in light of Alex de
Tocqueville's admonishments, "It must not be forgotten that
it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details
of life. For my own part, I should be incline to think freedom
less necessary in great things than in little ones" (de Tocqueville,
2000). One may see among these "minor details" decisions
made by local teachers and administrators and communities about
what education should look like in their community. One may then
see standards as a beginning to an end of this particular area
of freedom.
I don't think Meier goes far enough in her link between standards
and democracy. Over-simplifying the past may train us to over-simplify
the present. Voter apathy, cynicism, and government by and for
the few who bother to vote may result from people holding simplistic
views of the past and politics while simultaneously being presented
with a very complex reality of the present. Even our televised
experts on politics cannot seem to escape the oversimplification
of experiences (Bourdieu, 1996). According to Bourdieu (1996),
"So, insofar as (politics) have to be addressed, this not
very exciting and even depressing spectacle, which is so difficult
to deal with, has to be made interesting" (p. 2). To keep
politics interesting, Bourdieu continues, "…prospective
panelists must present their positions in uncomplicated, clear,
and striking terms. Above all, they must avoid the quagmire of
intellectual complexity" (p.3). The link between teaching
and public perception of politics seems not only strong but possibly
even causal.
Even in the area of mathematics, the seemingly simple question
of "What is the sum of 1+1" can have different answers
depending on the perspectives. The answer "2," which
is commonly accepted as fact is only correct from a perspective
of arithmetic. The answers begin to change when perspectives
change. The answer to "1+1" becomes "10 (one zero)"
when one's reality changes to the binary language of computers
and could become "II" in a History class studying the
Roman Empire.
Some educators may argue that some facts are immutable. As an
example, some educators may claim Pope Urban II's call for the
First Crusade in 1099 is a fact. Despite my arguments that the
Crusades may have been experienced as an invasion of barbarian
forces set on conquest and plunder when viewed from an Islamic
reality, those educators may ask me to admit that the event occurred
in 1099 and that the date is an immutable fact. To this hypothetical
argument, I would respond that from an Islamic reality, these
events occurred in the year AH (After Hajji) 321 and from a Jewish
reality, they occurred in 4656. Even the seemingly immutable
reality of time may be defined by the cultures of the participants.

One may argue if the timing of an event is debatable, then the
occurrence of an event surely cannot be debated. However, even
the seemingly immutable fact of an event occurring may be debatable.
Loewen (1995) points out how many facts described in American
History textbooks may have never happened. He deconstructs the
flat-Earth reality that surrounds the Columbus story. According
to the textbook The American Pageant, Columbus's crewmembers were
scared they would sail "…over the edge of the world"
(Loewen, 1995, p.46). This particular reality was created in
1828 by Washington Irving but has managed to survive as an immutable
fact of history (Loewen, 1995). History teachers unaware of Loewen's
work may still teach the flat-Earth reality. Loewen argues that
textbooks need to teach the so-called correct set of immutable
facts. What may be more important -- and more interesting --
is looking critically at each of these seemingly exclusive realities
and teaching our students to do likewise. Whose interests are
served by the traditional reality? Whose interests are served
by Loewen's reality? What can we learn from each? When one explores
history as a rich complexity of experiences and historical interpretation
of those experiences, even the occurrence of an event can be seen
as shaped by the realities of those who write about the event.
By denying the possibility of multiple realities and multiple
correct answers based on those realities, we may be training our
young people to look for one correct answer and disregard or resist
other possible ones. Kumashiro (2000) writes about the emotional
crisis students in his classes experienced when he presented them
with versions of history contrary to the ones they had experienced
in high school. Similarly, my experience in college courses has
been to witness students not only resist, but rail against these
alternative versions of history. Teaching social studies as a
list of answers to questions might lead young people to become
intolerant of ideas, perspectives, and realities that are different
from the so-called right answers they were taught and upon which
they were assessed in school.
Teaching to the test may discourage critical thinking and other
higher-order skills. Standardized tests like the SAT-9 are multiple-choice
because it is easy to grade scantron-type tests when one is testing
an entire state. Should ease of use really dictate the depth
of knowledge and types of skills we assess in our students? In
the real world, correcting identifying a predetermined correct
answer from a group of answers rarely exists outside of fast food
cashiering when one is looking for the correct sandwich selection
and drink size. Are these the types of skills on which we really
want to focus our teaching? When I was in Japan in November of
1999, the Japanese education system was determined to rid the
country of high-stakes exams. The American teachers I was touring
with were incredulous, "Why get rid of the test when Japanese
students continually rank first in the world on these test?"
From the Minister of Education to groups of parents, the answer
was hauntingly similar and a harbinger of California's future
if we continue to uncritically accept the rhetoric of testing:
"Japanese students are very good at taking tests."
How High Are the Stakes?
When discussing the impact of high-stakes tests, it is important
to define these terms. High-stakes tests are nothing new. Final
exams that are worth half of a grade in a class, the SAT, the
STAR, and California's new High School Exit Exam (HSEE) are all
examples of high-stake tests. There is nothing inherent about
these tests that make them high-stakes. What makes a test high-stakes
are the types of educational decisions that are made based on
performance on these tests. If one fails to pass the final exam,
then one fails the class. Scoring poorly on the SAT severely
limits the types of educational opportunities available after
high school. Low scores on the STAR have been used to label children
as "at-risk" for retention and have been used to label
schools as "low performing." Failing to pass the new
HSEE in California will exclude a child from a high-school diploma.
The HSEE exclusion applies to every student. Even students with
special learning needs have to pass this exam to receive a diploma.
Students' Individual Educational Plans (IEP) may exempt them
from taking the HSEE, but if the IEP does so, it also excludes
them from a diploma. It is difficult to determine how many students
will not be able to pass the test. While much of the debate about
the HSEE is centered on whether it will be a test of basic skills
or a lofty expression of our aspirations for schooling., without
looking at the exam, and looking at it critically, it feels inappropriate
for me to assess the potential consequences of the HSEE in this
article.
There may be many California high schoolers who will be unable
to pass the test. Imagining a test that every high-school senior
can pass, including our special-education students, and which
our state officials in Sacramento see as rigorous is difficult
at best. It is, however, possible to imagine what may happen to
those who do not pass the test.
High school diplomas are not only used for entry into institutions
of high learning. High school diplomas make any young person's
resume look better. Institutions of high learning, trade schools,
businesses, and the military all often exclude applicants without
a high school diploma. Many of these opportunities will be shut
off to the students unable to pass the HSEE.
Basing a diploma on the HSEE also calls into question teachers
and schools. What I find at once interesting and infuriating
is when a child who achieves well in classes (As and Bs) and fails
to pass the test, it is often the teachers and classes that are
called into question. If a straight A student fails to pass the
HSEE, by denying her a diploma are we saying the off-the shelf,
one-size-fits-all, one-shot test that labeled her a failure is
more accurate than the series of professionals who have spent
years with this student, and using a variety of assessments, labeled
her a success?
Conclusions
After looking at some of the arguments in favor of standardized
tests like the SAT-9, I am left unconvinced as to the efficacy
of their use. Even the seemingly unassailable position of content
standards can be debated. Standards define knowledge in narrow
ways. In mathematics, this narrow definition of knowledge seems
less problematic. Although, as one begins to explore levels of
mathematics more complex than arithmetic, one begins to see places
where even the seemingly obvious answer of "2" to the
question of "What is 1+1" loses some certainty. However,
in the social studies, such a narrow definition of knowledge typically
marginalizes the existence and experience of groups who are already
marginalized in society. This practice can perpetuate the inequalities
existing in society rather than educate to change these inequalities.
Creativity and critical thinking typically demand one to look
for multiple solutions and possibilities when one is confronted
with a problem. Standardized test are counter-productive to these
skills. Testing requires the test taker to identify one pre-determined
correct answer from a list of red herrings. Even the essay portion
of some standardized test stifle creativity with their demand
on the test-taker to regurgitate the five-paragraph style that
the standards define as excellent writing.
While some advocate the abolition of standards (Avers, 2000; Kozol,
2000; Meier, 2000), others argue that finding just the right set
of standards are what schools and our children need (Chase, 2000;
Murnane, 2000; Nash, 2000; Nathan, 2000). I would argue another
extreme. What seems to be necessary is a way for the public to
ensure that public education is serving the interests of the public.

Testing is a political response to an educational issue. One
may argue about whether or not our educational system is failing
to educate the populace, as the 1984 report A Nation At Risk suggested.
One may understand the need to determine whether or not our children
are being well served by their schools. High-stakes testing,
especially tests like the SAT-9, are not the tools with which
to answer these concerns. It seems as if the buzzwords of accountability
and standards are being used in a pseudo-corporate context. One
may imagine the taxes paid into the public education system as
our investment in the education of our children. How, then, can
we find out if the system is profitable? The scores on test like
the SAT-9 may be equated to the imagined profits of the education
system; higher test scores equally bigger profits. So much of
what is important in teaching is not quantifiable. How can a
test show a student's creativity, love of learning, and curiosity?
Rather than use a set of state-approved standards, perhaps education
can learn from other fields where testing is used to assess competence.
Wiggins (1998) sums up the practice of high-stakes testing when
he applies the model to forms of learning not generally associated
with these tests.
Imagine that a person in your state can get a driver's license
merely by doing well on the paper-and-pencil part of the test.
Then imagine further that your state department of motor vehicles
(DMV) does not administer a road test of new drivers because it
thinks the test would not be worth the time, money, and hassle
and that the DMV officers administrating the test would be likely
to make "subjective" (and thus controversial) judgments.
Instead, drivers' education involves extensive bookwork, paper-and-pencil
tests of driving strategy, and lots of practice on different forms
of written tests. (Is this a state where you would feel safe
to drive in?) (p. 3).

This example sounds ludicrous. However, is it more rational
to expect similar treatment of Social Studies, English, Math,
or Science? Do real historians take multiple-choice tests for
a living? Do mathematicians take math tests? Do scientist study
science books and then take tests about what they understood from
those books? In all these cases, the answer is clearly, "No."
If the answer is "no," and the role of schooling really
is to prepare students for these future careers, then what is
the purpose of testing?
Perhaps then, this is the next tier of questions we in education
should be asking and debating.
What I had hoped to begin with this paper was a look at more fundamental
issues of testing. I wanted to go deeper than the current level
of debate about whose standard will be tested and what questions
we will ask and to call into question some of the purposes of
testing and some of the core issues surrounding standards in general.
Perhaps the next step is to begin questioning the purpose of
formalized schooling. If schooling is supposed to pass along
a collection of relatively benign facts, then perhaps these tests
are as benign as the collection of facts they presume to assess.
However, if schooling in general, and the teaching of United
States History specifically, revolves around the dual goals of
teaching a set of presumed facts and indoctrinating young people
in what it means to be a citizen of the United States, then perhaps
we are making some assumptions about people and patriotism that
need not be made.
If people are unable to be critical and patriotic simultaneously,
then teaching one clearly defined set of facts in which the actions
of the United States are unquestionable makes sense. In this
case, it would be important to teach only the reality in which
the United States domestic and foreign policy is beyond question.
If, however, people can be critical and patriotic as the same
time, then one could teach about the multiple realities and multiple
perspectives of history. Students could be encouraged to see
how different realities serve different purposes. Students might
be able to understand the usefulness and problematic nature surrounding
each perspective and reality. It is my assertion that such teaching
will only help students make better sense of the complexities
in their life that currently seem far removed from the simplicity
of the world they study in school.

Author's Note

Dave Orphal teaches World History and Civics at Zoe Barnum
High School in Eureka, California. He is currently working on
his Master of Arts in Education at Humboldt State University where
he received a Bachelor's Degree in History and another in Social
Studies Teacher Preparation in 1995. Mr. Orphal is the lead teacher
of Zoe Barnum's Community of Caring Program that stresses the
inclusion of five core values of caring, respect, responsibility,
trust and family across the curriculum. He is also the adult
advisor for Youth Educating Against Homophobia, a student-run
organization that provides workshops for teachers about homophobia
and anti-oppressive education.
The author is immensely grateful to Ann Diver-Stamnes for her
mentorship on this project. He would also like to thank Keri
Gelenian and Dennis Orphal for their thoughtful feedback.

 

 

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