MAY 5TH RALLY:  A Report
By Tanya Sharon
On May 5th a rally was held to SUPPORT GOOD TEACHING, GET RID OF THE MEAP sponsored by FREE, a coalition of parents, teachers, university professors, and students that is co-sponsored by the Rouge Forum and Whole Schooling Consortium.
We had sent out press releases to 34 papers, radio and TV stations. Two suburban papers printed articles about the upcoming demo during the past week. Three  major TV stations came to the demo and aired footage of interviews of participants. 

People began to gather around 11 a.m. At 12 we had an "open mike" and more than a dozen  people spoke for 2 to 3 minutes each about their reasons for opposing high stakes testing, specifically the MEAP. Speakers included teachers, parents and college and elementary students both urban and suburban,and teacher educators from Wayne State and the University of Michigan. 

At 1 the group set off on a march with signs and chants about their opposition to high stakes tests.Most were wearing buttons protesting the MEAP and high stakes tests. During the march many onlookers honked and cheered their support.  At the height of the demo we were 70 strong. 

Following the march we met for refreshments and talk and made plans for continuing our work to educate others about high stakes testing and what they can do about it. 

ONE TESTIMONYAbout the rally, Nancy Creech, an elementary teacher said . . . I think we all did a great job!For someone who didn't used to raise her hand in the teacher's lounge, it was definitely a different experience for me to see myself on television last night with a reporter!  Also, the camaraderie and connection among people at the rally, was something I haven't witnessed too often in my lifetime. 

OUR GOAL was to provide a place where people could comfortably take a public stand and to gain additional people with whom we can work. We more than accomplished this purpose. This provides a solid base to move to the next steps in helping make a difference for children. 

Edited by Michael Peterson 

Sunday, May 6, 2001


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