Teacher Protests NCLB by Boycotting Tests

November 01, 2007 1 min read

On Tuesday, Madison, Wis., teacher David Wasserman refused to give state tests, saying he had moral objections to NCLB’s testing requirements. He sat in the teachers’ lounge while a colleague proctored the test for him, according to this Associated Press account.

Wasserman planned to halt his protest today after the district superintendent threatened to fire him. “I can’t jeopardize health insurance for my family,” Wasserman, 36, told the AP. “I want to still hold by my morals, which I feel very strongly about. But I have a family to think about.”

This is a small and isolated story. But it resonated across the Web. I found the AP dispatch on Web sites for CBS News, a site for Gannett newspapers in Wisconsin, Yahoo, a Washington radio station, and This Week in Education. (Alexander, there’s the link you asked for.) It also appeared in the AP feed on

This story is another example of how NCLB engenders strong reactions, both pro and con. And the heat of those reactions gets publicity, giving one side or the other evidence to support its case for or against the law. No previous version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act created such buzz and strong opinions.

Maybe that’s one reason why it’s been so difficult for Congress to make progress on NCLB reauthorization.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.