Youth-led activists group in Baltimore City has planned a districtwide student walkout on Friday to protest standardized testing, which they call a mechanism of institutional racism.
The walkout, planned by the Baltimore Algebra Project, is scheduled to take place at noon. A 1 p.m. rally will take place at Baltimore city school headquarters.
The non-profit, which is operated and lead by youth under the age of 25, has partnered with the district for years, tutoring in schools and advocating for education policy reform.
Jamal Jones, co-executive director of the Algebra Project, said the group set its sights on the PARCC test this year because it represents some of the oppressive policies that have been laid bare since the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of injuries he sustained in police custody last year.
As the anniversary of Gray's death and riots that ensued after nears, Jones said this was an opportune time to make a statement about how standardized testing is stifling tens of thousands of city schoolchildren.
"In the wake of the uprising, it's critical to understand how the structures of institutional racism led to systems that put Freddie Gray in the position to experience police brutality, and so many other young people in the position to believe that they're inferior," Jones said.
The group made a music video that denounces the PARCC exam, a tougher state standardized test that measures a new curriculum.
Read the rest of the article in the Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bal-baltimore-student-activist-group-plans-friday-walkout-in-protest-of-testing-20160414-story.html