Editor's Introduction to Sustance Ohanian's "The bi-partisan corporate and union roots of test-based 'accountability' and No Child Left Behind"

The following Substance report contains virtually all of the material that Susan Ohanian prepared for her contribution to the AFT Convention’s Peace and Justice Caucus forum on resistance. The forum, which was held on Sunday, July 13, 2008, generated much discussion, but because of some scheduling conflicts and other problems, the full discussion on the points Susan Ohanian makes below was never able to happen. Instead of being able to deliver her presentation and then take questions over a two-hour period, as she had prepared to do, Susan was asked to be on a panel with another speaker and reduce her time by more than half. The presentation was also disrupted by confusion over the time at which it was to begin.

As a result of a reduction in time for her remarks, Susan was unable to present all of the material she had hoped to share with our fellow teachers during the AFT convention. In order to ensure that those materials are available to the widest possible audience of teachers, we reprint Susan’s complete prepared remarks here, now.

Those who wish to know more about these topics can learn a great deal from Susan Ohanian’s Website ( and from the more than two dozen books she has published.

A fine primer on the topics discussed here is the book “Why is corporate America bashing our public schools?” by Susan Ohanian and Kathy Embry.

As the struggles against No Child Left Behind and high-stakes testing grow against, Substance will be updating a struggle that now goes back more than two decades. Materials will be available in print, on our Website, and from the books written by our colleagues. 

An shorter version of this introduction was originally published in the print edition of Substance, September 2008.


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