San Diego Schools Statement February 2008

My name is Richard Gibson. I am a professor emeritus at San Diego State, in the college of education, and a resident of the college area.

I want to urge parents, students, and school workers to exercise their legal rights and opt out of the frenzy of high stakes examinations that is about to hit California schools once again.

These high stakes exams are little more that child abused cloaked with bogus scientific reason. While the tests claim to promote equality inside a meritocracy, in fact the tests measure little more than parental income, race, and subservience. The tests claim to promote knowledge when in fact they strangle reason itself, eradicating freedom and creativity in classrooms, the foundation of learning anything, replacing it with fear and intimidation.

Any society promising its youth perpetual war, a society steeped in inequality, and a government that stands exposed as little more than an executive committee, and armed weapon, of the rich, is going to make peculiar demands on it schools. Such is the case here.

These exams serve as a direct pipeline from schools to imperial war. By imperial war, I mean, not war for democracy or against tyranny, but war on behalf of a tyranny in a desperate search for control of raw materials, political-geography, cheap labor, and markets, spilling blood of poor and working class people on behalf of profiteers who claim to be patriots, but who are really just parasites.

By pipeline, I mean that the tests simply sort people, not by achievement, but station at birth, and pump them into varying levels of servitude, the most severe being the empire’s military, from which those youths have nearly nothing to gain but lost limbs, death, PTSDs, and bad health care, meaningless jobs, when they return.

Students, parents, kids and educators can join together and legally opt out of these exams. I hope they hear my statement and join others in California who seek to reconnect reason with power.