As the corporate publishing and education giant Pearson is caught in yet another serious mistake in test results in New York, the campaign in the US against high stakes testing and neo-liberal reform is growing.

Students, parents and teachers have campaigned against standardised testing through demonstrations, staying away from school and opting out of the tests, most recently in Chicago and Seattle. Meanwhile the main advocates of standardised testing and the so-called common core state standards (CCSS)  are beginning to admit that there may be problems - but not of course rejecting the whole package. Both Arne Duncan, the federal education secretary and Bill Gates have admitted that mistakes have been made.The American Federation of Teachers has been supportive of CCSS from the start and claims that most of its members are behind the reform. Not only that but it has received millions of dollars from the Gates Foundation to help promote the CCSS. Now however it is calling for a year's respite with its Put the Brakes on Stakes campaign.

The more time goes on, the more it becomes clear that this initiative is driven by corporate interests, such as Pearson and News Corporation, who stand to make massive profits from the digitalisation and standardisation of all aspects of teaching, and supported by other corporations such as Exxon oil. And the distopian view of education offered by I, with every aspect of a child's behaviour, achievement, personality and personal details stored in a Murdoch owned data cloud, and the work of teachers similarly recorded and controlled, is beginning not only to be opposed by those who believe in democratic and creative teaching, but even those on the right who value their privacy.

These reforms are also aimed at rubbishing public schools and public teachers and replacing them with privatised charter schools and inadequately trained and inexperienced teachers such as those on the Teach For America programme.

Now the Education Department in New York is terminating Pearson's contract to run all the testing in the city. Organisations such as and  are growing, as brave educators like those in Seattle refuse to administer high stakes tests. Not only that but activists are beginning to demand no compromise. In an excellent article headed "The greatest fight of our lives" the website says: 

The attempt to force us to accept our fate under the guidance of the common core, the mission of the , the billionaire boys’ club, and RTTT policies will be rolled out in various ways.  They will stifle us with mandates, but then will allow us up for air as they admit mistakes on this exciting journey of learning where we find our way - together. They will send us babbling into arguments about the pros and cons of poorly written test questions, better tests, refined tests, creative online tests, better common core curriculum created by teachers and better technology for testing. They will engage us in discussions as they admit their “bumps” along the way on our new found path; they will try to take our hand and walk with us ascollaborators. They will grant us the grace and time to become more as we embrace the common core standards - during which, we will be contending with teacher evaluation, new legislation and new tasks surrounding creation of common core curriculum in our individual districts. They will keep all of us very busy putting out fires.

  There will be more petitions, moratoriums, proclamations, opportunities to offer feedback - and it will all be pointless. Do not engage in this. We must each look at our individual source of energy and use it wisely and in a manner that creates action to dismantle their system.   This website can only second this call. Teachers from India to Kenya, from Greece to Mexico are facing the same raft of 'reforms' as regular readers will know. For too long teachers and their unions have tried to accommodate reform, to mitigate its effect and to humanise it. The result has been that teachers are often deeply stressed as they rush to satisfy yet another diktat from the education department, tick more boxes, comply with more standardisation. Teachers' distress is not the only outcome however, even more importantly children's education is being damaged in the process. So in England and in many countries round the world, teachers are beginning to take matters into their own hands through boycotts, through educating their school communities on the effects of these policies and through refusing to carry out work which they regard as harmful. In Mexico, teachers are on the streets demanding an end to damaging reforms and fighting for their own vision of democratic and culturally relevant education. It's a global fight and teachers round the world will be inspired to see the growing combativeness in the US against these policies - the powerful country where many of them were tried out first.