Thursday, January 15, 2015

AFT leaders go along with Duncan's testing madness

Look who showed up at the CTU's annual Dr. ML King celebration. Welcome back Karen Lewis.
ARNE DUNCAN'S call Monday, to dump NCLB but keep its testing madness has found a loyal echo in AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten. She does her best to keep her seat at the Democratic Party dinner table even while her own union members are being served up as the main course.

Randi deftly tries to cover all her bases with this disclaimer:
 “Annual tests, if they are reliable and diagnostic, provide important information for students, parents, teachers and schools."
But she knows as well as Duncan that the current K-12 testing regimen is neither reliable nor diagnostic. It's high stakes and used mainly to punish teachers and public schools that have high concentrations of kids from low-income, black and Latino families. Duncan's push for more high-stakes testing is also driving a test-prep curriculum. The net result is the gradual disintegration of public schooling under Duncan's Race To The Top and its replacement with networks of privately-managed charter schools. An approach hardly distinguishable from the Republican's version of school reform.

AFT leaders insist that they only support Duncan's call for more testing, so long as the tests are but "one component of a robust system of multiple measures.” Even throwing in the word "robust" doesn't change the fact that it's the tests -- even if they count 30 or 40% of the evaluation process --  that count.

I may turn out to be wrong on this, but...While NEA leaders have also jumped on Duncan's testing band wagon, I still have hope for newly-elected NEA Pres. Lily Eskelsen García. She doesn't appear to be playing Arne Duncan's puppy dog on testing and she's definitely not Rand Paul's (or Arne Duncan's) on "education choice, school choice, vouchers, charter schools, you name it.”‘

GOOD TWEET from Chicago teacher and CTU activist Sarah Chambers.

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