“Vermont, a country unpeopled, and almost unknown in the last war, now abounds in the most active and the most rebellious race of the continent, and hangs like a gathering storm on my left.” —General John Burgoyne-August 1777
British General John Burgoyne wrote these pre-battle words as he entered The Battle of Bennington, Vermont. Shortly after, Colonel Seth Warner and members of the Green Mountain Boys, supporting American colonial General John Stark, decisively defeated a detachment of Burgoyne's army. The loss reduced it in size by almost 1,000 men, led his Indian support to abandon him, and deprived him of supplies. The British were forced to proceed to Saratoga without the supplies, where they met a stunning defeat that turned the tide of the American Revolutionary War.
In another August effort, this time in 2014, the “active and rebellious people” glimpsed by Burgoyne are standing up yet again, this time for their schools. Taking on the continued folly of testing, the Vermont State Board of Education adopted a statement and resolution on assessment and accountability. The long and the short of it is that the U.S. Secretary of Education should re-examine the present accountability system and develop something far better, the Congress should amend the ESEA, and that other state and national groups should join in this effort.
The Vermont statement can be found here: http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-SBE_AssmntAcct_Adpted081914.pdf.
Comments by Diane Ravitch and Peter Greene can also be found at the following links: