Last week, in typical CPS fashion, B3 issued a statement angering many parents and teachers. B3 kinda, maybe said parents could choose to opt their kids out of tests. That is only if parents talked to the principal and realized that by opting out they'd damage their child's future and the school's ranking. And probably make those testing companies less profitable with a bunch of unused tests sitting around.
Some would call B3's statement an exercise in false choice, we'd agree.
Less than a week later, Karen Lewis and the CTU have responded to Bennett's threatening, huffy email with good sense and logic for parents choosing to opt their kids out of tests:
- "The ‘low stakes’ test is administered over the course of eight days in all elementary schools. 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."
CPS demands students use over a week and a half of school days to take a test that isn't aligned to any CPS curriculum nor will be used for measurement of any sort? Shocking. Good thing CTU provides the money trail for us:
- "Illinois paid over $18 million this year to Pearson Corporation for the ISAT. The portion attributed to CPS is roughly $3.4 million, impacting over 171,000 students. The total cost of administering the tests are the untold hours of preparation for the exam, and the loss of valuable instructional hours that could be spent on real learning."
$18 million dollars would certainly provide real learning opportunities in the form of smaller class sizes, adequate staffing so teachers can provide meaningful help to students, and quality materials with which to teach.
Thanks again Karen for standing up for the families of CPS.