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Chicago Teachers Union adopts resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards.

May 7, 2014

Today the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates passed a resolution opposing the Common Core standards.

A similar New Business Item was not permitted to be voted on at the recent Illinois Education Association state convention. It was ruled out of order by IEA President Cinda Klickna. The NBI had been introduced by veteran Park Ridge fifth grade teacher and delegate, Jerry Mulvihill.

From CTUnet:

Today, members of the House of Delegates (HOD) of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) passed the following resolution that enjoins the city’s educators to growing national opposition to the Common Core State Standards, saying the assessments disrupt student learning and consume tremendous amounts of time and resources for test preparation and administration.

Now that the resolution has passed, the CTU will lobby the Illinois Board of Education to eliminate the use of the Common Core for teaching and assessment; and be it further and will work to organize other members and affiliates to increase opposition to the law that increases the expansion of nationwide controls over educational issues.

Common Core’s origins can be traced to the 2009 Stimulus Bill which gave $4.35 billion to the federal Department of Education which created the “Race to the Top” competition between states. In order to qualify for funding, the states needed to adopt Common Core with the added incentive that participating states would be exempted from many of the more onerous provisions of George Bush’s “No child left behind” program.

“I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy,” said CTU President Karen Lewis, a nationally board certified teacher. “Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom and impedes collaboration. We also know that high-stakes standardized testing is designed to rank and sort our children and it contributes significantly to racial discrimination and the achievement gap among students in America’s schools.”

The official text of the resolution follows:

Resolution to Oppose the Common Core State Standards

WHEREAS, the purpose of education is to educate a populace of critical thinkers who are capable of shaping a just and equitable society in order to lead good and purpose-filled lives, not solely preparation for college and career; and

WHEREAS, instructional and curricular decisions should be in the hands of classroom professionals who understand the context and interests of their students; and

WHEREAS, the education of children should be grounded in developmentally appropriate practice; and

WHEREAS, high quality education requires adequate resources to provide a rich and varied course of instruction, individual and small group attention, and wrap-around services for students; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards were developed by non-practitioners, such as test and curriculum publishers, as well as education reform foundations, such as the Gates and Broad Foundations, and as a result the CCSS better reflect the interests and priorities of corporate education reformers than the best interests and priorities of teachers and students; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards were piloted incorrectly, have been implemented too quickly, and as a result have produced numerous developmentally inappropriate expectations that do not reflect the learning needs of many students; and

WHEREAS, imposition of the Common Core State Standards adversely impacts students of highest need, including students of color, impoverished students, English language learners, and students with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards emphasize pedagogical techniques, such as close reading, out of proportion to the actual value of these methods – and as a result distort instruction and remove instructional materials from their social context; and

WHEREAS, despite the efforts of our union to provide support to teachers, the significant time, effort, and expense associated with modifying curricula to the Common Core State Standards interferes and takes resources away from work developing appropriate and engaging courses of study; and

WHEREAS, the assessments that accompany the Common Core State Standards (PARCC and Smarter Balance) are not transparent in that –teachers and parents are not allowed to view the tests and item analysis will likely not be made available given the nature of computer adaptive tests; and

WHEREAS, Common Core assessments disrupt student learning, consuming tremendous amounts of time and resources for test preparation and administration; and

WHEREAS, the assessment practices that accompany Common Core State Standards – including the political manipulation of test scores – are used as justification to label and close schools, fail students, and evaluate educators; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Chicago Teachers Union opposes the Common Core State Standards (and the aligned tests) as a framework for teaching and learning; and be it further

RESOLVED, the Chicago Teachers Union advocates for an engaged and socially relevant curriculum that is student-based and supported by research, as well as for supports such as those described in the Chicago Teachers Union report, The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve; and be it further

RESOLVED, the Chicago Teachers Union will embark on internal discussions to educate and seek feedback from members regarding the Common Core and its impact on our students; and be it further

RESOLVED, the Chicago Teachers Union will lobby the Illinois Board of Education to eliminate the use of the Common Core State Standards for teaching and assessment; and be it further

RESOLVED, the Chicago Teachers Union will organize other members and affiliates to increase opposition to the Common Core State Standards; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Illinois State Board of Education, the Chicago Board of Education, the Governor of Illinois, and all members of the Illinois legislative branch; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that should this resolution be passed by the CTU House of Delegates, an appropriate version will be submitted to the American Federation of Teachers for consideration at the 2014 Convention.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 2old2tch permalink
    May 7, 2014 9:51 pm

    Halleujah!

  2. May 7, 2014 10:19 pm

    The first question is whether there should be standards. If so, should they be common?

  3. DJM permalink
    May 7, 2014 11:24 pm

    The CTU resolution is a great step forward in fighting for teaching professionals to truely “take back their profession” from those who are hijacking it for their own profit and greed. The Common Core and it’s standardized tests are a business plan- not an educational plan.

  4. Tom permalink
    May 9, 2014 10:33 am

    We are again heading toward “Throwing out the baby with the bath water”. Whereas the CCSS have some issues, most notably the rate and style implementation, to say that it all bad loses a point. One “whereas” from the union was that the instruction should be left up to the “professionals” in the classroom. The CCSS tells what the educational goals are but not how to get to them. Secondly, after seeing to many teachers who are not as professional as the union wishes to think, maybe its time that there were some demands not only on what is taught, but how it is taught.

  5. May 9, 2014 2:59 pm

    Meanwhile, students graduating from US public high schools are an international joke. I live and work in San Francisco (my hometown) and believe me, people who got degrees in Vietnam and India and Pakistan, China and Japan had already outpaced the average US high school graduate by the time they were 13. My community college catalog here is FILLED with remedial English/reading courses…we are letting kids into THIRD LEVEL EDUCATION who don’t even have basic reading and writing skills! And believe me, the people from these countries do not feel “entitlted” either. they don’t expect 13 kinds of Starbuck’s coffee and free lunches…and they don’t use four-letter words in the office, either. They say “yes!” And “absolutely!” and “please” and “thank you” and they smile and they don’t complain and they will work whatever hours it takes. And Chicago teachers and parents don’t want to raise the standards of US high school students — but expect their kids to have well-paying careers? Good luck with that… See how that works for you…and for the US, 20 years down the road…

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      May 9, 2014 3:06 pm

      Dear Corpowriter,
      “They say “yes!” And “absolutely!” and “please” and “thank you” and they smile and they don’t complain and they will work whatever hours it takes.”
      Your description of immigrant workers is nonsense. That is a description of slavery, which we abolished a while back. And is contradicted by the movement of low-paid fast food and farmworkers who are certainly not saying yes and thank-you and will not do whatever they are told. And the fact that you desire a working class like that even looks like that fiction says more about you than it does about what Chicago parents and teachers want.

  6. May 9, 2014 11:56 pm

    34,000 New York children refused to take the ELA state tests. Many more refused the math. Speak up! Watch and spread the video. Parents have a right to refuse!

Trackbacks

  1. Breaking News: Chicago Teachers Union Opposes Common Core | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. Educational Policy Information
  3. Chicago Teachers: Resolution to Oppose the Common Core State Standards | Kings Park Advocates for Education
  4. Chicago Teachers Union adopts resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards #stopcommoncore | Stop Common Core Illinois
  5. How the Common Core Supports Capital | Chicago Activism

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