Garfield teacher and MAP boycott leader Jesse Hagopian was named the "Secondary School Teacher of the Year" last Saturday by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International in Washington, D.C. His "Bammy" award was also joined by a "Grammys for Teachers", a special achievement award, for his work.
The annual Bammy awards recognize educators from across the education
field: teachers, principals, librarians, nurses, school-board members,
superintendents, and others.
The presenter told the audience this Bammy was for “a demonstration of
courage” because, he said, courage is necessary “when doing what’s in
the best interests of children…” He added that sometimes courage “means
going against accepted policy, going against what is accepted
“This is a victory for all of the students, parents and teachers at Garfield who refused to give the Michelle Rhee-endorsed MAP
test, and who stood strong in the face of education-corrupting
standardized testing that has run over our students,” said Hagopian, as
he held up the silver-and-lead-crystal Bammy award. “And this,”
he said after a pause, again hoisting the hefty Bammy, “is a victory of
all of those teachers and educators who said that you should be both a
social-justice advocate in the classroom, and outside the classroom.”
Hagopian’s attendance at the gala was a coincidental accident of
scheduling. The National Education Association had flown him to the
capital that same week to testify before the Congressional Black Caucus
of the U.S. Congress. He was one of several educators from across the
country that testified to the caucus about the negative impacts of
standardized testing and school closures on at-risk students and their
The Bammys are presented by The Academy of Education Arts and Sciences
International, which includes leading educators, education professors,
journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates, activists,
visionaries and pioneers. The Academy is comprised of a board of
governors, a council of peers, and associate members.
I also note that Diane Ravitch singled out Garfield High School during her talk on Thursday for their tremendous effort and courage. Jesse was in the crowd, with his wife and children, to hear her praise.