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Teachers at Chicago’s Saucedo Scholastic Academy vote 100% to boycott ISAT test. Teachers union has their backs. 100%.

February 25, 2014

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This morning teachers at Maria Saucedo Academy voted unanimously to boycott the ISAT test. This follows on the heels of yesterday’s press conference by parents who have opted out of the test. They represent a reported 500 parents who have opted out district-wide.

Here is the press release from the Chicago Teachers Union:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) supports teachers and parents at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy who announced today their intent to boycott the Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT). Teachers have collected more than 300 opt-out letters and the student council voted to encourage all students to opt out of the exam. Should these courageous educators face disciplinary charges by the district, CTU vowed to  mount a strong defense of this collective action.

Saucedo’s action stance against the ISAT could spark a teacher and parent-led movement to “opt-out” throughout the Chicago Public Schools system.

“The Saucedo educators have taken a bold step in refusing to administer a test that is of no use to students and will be junked by the district next year,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has already said the ISAT will not be used for selective enrollment, and therefore this serves no purpose other than to give students another standardized test. We know that parents all over the city are opting their children out of this unnecessary test, and we commend them for doing what is in the best interests of their children.”

The ‘low stakes’ test is expected to be administered over the course of eight days in all elementary schools starting March 3rd. Formerly used to help qualify 7th grade students for selective enrollment high schools. The district recently issued a memorandum to teachers stressing the value of “rigorous, high-quality assessments,” in measuring student progress. The ISAT, however, is not aligned to any CPS curriculum, and in Chicago, it is no longer used to measure student progress, school performance, promotion, or for any other purpose.

For the last decade, since the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the ISAT test has been the primary lever used by CPS for its destructive, destabilizing policies of closures and turnarounds. System-wide, the ISAT has infected the vigor and breadth of curriculum as teachers and students became stymied by the requirements of a narrow test-based approach to learning. NCLB has now been panned as a broad failure, but with the transition into more new tests, CPS threatens to double-down on the failed policy of standardized-test based accountability.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael Wierzbicki permalink
    February 25, 2014 9:00 pm

    Finally, parents are standing up to the absurdity of ISAT and NCLB! It is not a tool to raise students up, but to break and keep them down.

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 26, 2014 9:35 pm

      I agree!

  2. Trish Gronlund permalink
    February 26, 2014 11:55 am

    NCLB was never designed to improve education, but to punish teachers and teachers’ unions. I’m glad that people are finally waking up and standing up to that fact.

  3. March 2, 2014 4:45 pm

    Good for teachers and parents of Chicago schools to booycott standardized testing. Should be done nationwide. Waste of time and talent.
    Wisconsin granmother aged 81.

Trackbacks

  1. Chicago Teachers Boycott Standardized ISAT Testing | Chicago NewsRag
  2. Teachers at Saucedo in Chicago refusing to hand out standardized test : blue cheddar
  3. Save Our Schools March – Teacher Appreciation Week – May 5th-9th

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