Invitation to an Open Conspiracy: The Bartleby Project

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 05 Apr 2009 19:45:57 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

John Taylor Gatto at The Libertarian Enterprise - The Bartleby Project aims to destroy the very concept of standardized testing in government schools by very simply encouraging students to write on their test papers, "I would prefer not to take your test." Brilliant! [tle]

I prefer not to. Let the statement be heard, at first erratically and then in an irresistible tide, in classrooms across the country. If only one in ten prefer not to, the press will scent an evergreen story and pick up the trail; the group preferring not to will grow like the snow ball anticipating the avalanche.

What of the ferocious campaign of intimidation which will be waged against the refuseniks? Retribution will be threatened, scapegoats will be targeted for public humiliation. Trust me, think Alice in Wonderland; the opposition will be a house of cards, the retribution an illusion. Will the refusers be denied admission to colleges? Don't be naive. College is a business before it's anything else; already a business starving for customers.

The Bartleby Project begins by inviting 60,000,000 American students, one by one, to peacefully refuse to take standardized tests or to participate in any preparation for these tests; it asks them to act because adults chained to institutions and corporations are unable to; because these tests pervert education, are disgracefully inaccurate, impose brutal stresses without reason, and actively encourage a class system which is poisoning the future of the nation.

The Bartleby Project should allow no compromise. That will be the second line of defense for management, a standard trick taught in political science seminars. Don't fall for it. Reject compromise. No need to explain why. No need to shout. May the spirit of the scrivener put steel in your backbone. Just say:

I would prefer not to take your test.

An old man's prayers will be with you.

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Comments (3):

Love it

Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 29 Apr 2009 16:22:30 GMT

I love this!!!!!! I stand behind it!

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And so it begins. Simply

Submitted by Anonymous1 on Tue, 05 May 2009 16:27:23 GMT

And so it begins. Simply reading Gatto's words, was all it took for my students. No prodding necessary.

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Bartleby Project 2010

Submitted by Eric on Tue, 02 Mar 2010 04:35:32 GMT