Porfessor Lois Weiner, a leading US education scholar has called on the two US teaching unions - the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Naitonal Education Association (NEA) - to support educators in Seattle who are boycotting high stakes testing. In an opinion piece on the New Politics website she describes the ambivalent and confusing attitude of the unions to high stakes testing:  "NEA and AFT officials make grand statements criticizing the tests while they endorse legislation that chains teachers' evaluations to test scores." She goes on to call on the unions to organise a state-wide boycott of the MAP test.

President of the AFT, Randi Weingarten, is making a speech today in which she reiterates the AFT's support for the so-called Common Core Standards, which are being rolled out in many parts of the US. These are hotly contested by many teachers and parents, not least because of the volume of data which is being collected by private corporations and kept on children - including their behaviour, their achievements and their disciplinary infractions. A promotional video for the company InBloom, which uses News Corporation to store data, shows a vision of education where children sit quietly in rows as every interaction and task is controlled by a touch screen.

Meanwhile in Seattle, as in many other parts of the US, educators, students and parents are organising a growing opposition to high stakes testing, which is central to the development of Common Core Standards.