Rhizomatic Resistance: Teacher Activism and the Opt-Out Movement
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High-stakes testing has grown in scope and impact in recent years, as accountability decisions regarding funding, school sanctions, and teacher evaluations often depend on standardized test results. The shift toward more stringent and punitive testing mandates has not gone unchallenged however, as pockets of resistance have emerged among teachers, parents, and scholars, and a growing "opt-out" movement has picked up steam nationwide. Teachers in particular have played a critical role in resistance to high-stakes testing, even while adhering to these same policies in their professional roles. This study examines resistance to standardized testing via the 'opt-out' movement organizing process. I specifically look at teachers' participation in organizing and resistance, and how positions as teachers and sometimes parents influence their participation. I frame the project with a post-structuralism lens, utilizing the Deleuzoguattarian concept of the rhizome to illustrate the complex and connected nature of teachers' involvement in this social movement.