Yes, you CAN opt your kids out of Connecticut SBAC testing this spring! (By Brian Gosper)

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Brian Gosper is a member of the Killingly Town Council and the parent of two public school students.  This commentary piece first appeared in the CT Mirror.  Yes, you CAN opt your kids out of Connecticut SBAC testing this spring!

Yes, you CAN opt your kids out of Connecticut SBAC testing this spring!

If you child is in grades 3-8 or 11, he or she will be sitting for the SBAC or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test this spring. SBAC is the testing arm of the Common Core, or what Connecticut has cleverly renamed “Connecticut Core Standards.”

This rename is no doubt an attempt by the state to deflect from the national and local groundswell of opposition to Common Core. But have no doubt, this is the same sub-par, incredibly expensive, developmentally inappropriate (especially in younger ages), privacy and data-mining nightmare — a top down national attempt at taking over education and stripping local control of standards and curriculum.

This post is not specially written to address Common Core itself — there is plenty of information available on that — but rather to remind all parents that are concerned about the data and privacy issues and content of these tests, that they have the absolute 100 percent right to opt their kids out of the SBAC testing –regardless of what they are told by their child’s school.

Again, there is plenty of support for that position you should research if you are not convinced.

This is a scare tactic and whether true or not, you should still feel confident in opting out if that is your wish. Only by creating push back in the form of financial impacts to the state and municipalities can we affect the change that we need — a full exit of Connecticut from Common Core — and return local control of education to parents, local school boards and teachers.

Whatever you decide, be informed and educated on the matter. Do not take anyone’s opinion or comments at face value, no matter who is saying it. Do your research and decide for yourself what is best for your child and their future.

Here is a great on line resource: ctagainstcommoncore.org.

Brian Gosper is a member of the Killingly Town Council and the parent of two public school students. 

Education School Deans in CT make national headlines with powerful commentary piece

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Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading public education advocate, whose blog gets as many as 800,000 hits a month has highlighted the courageous stand taken by a number of college and university deans at schools of education in Connecticut.

The anti-testing, pro-teacher position these college deans are taking is especially important in light of the fact that Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration has been engaged in an effort to force the University of Connecticut to turn its School of Education over to the Corporate Education Reform Industry.  The Malloy administration’s State Department of Education has also been working to undermine some of the schools of education in the Connecticut State University System, especially targeting the program at Southern Connecticut State University.

In a recent Hartford Courant commentary piece, education deans from Connecticut’s independent colleges and universities step forward on behalf of teachers, the teaching profession, teacher preparation and public education in Connecticut.

Covering the news, Diane Ravitch posted a story entitled, “Connecticut: Ed School Deans Call for Common Sense and an End to Teacher-Bashing,”

Diane Ravitch writes;

Kevin G. Basmadjian, Dean of the School of Education at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, wrote a powerful article in the Hartford Courant in collaboration with other deans from across the state.

Connecticut’s students are among the highest on the NAEP, yet its policymakers insist that its schools and teachers are unsuccessful. The politicians want more charter schools and Teach for America.

He writes:

“As a nation and a state, we have clearly failed to address the inequalities that disproportionally impact many urban school districts where kids are poor and segregated. Sadly, for the first time in 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students now come from low-income families. But instead of addressing this crisis, we have demonized teachers for failing to solve problems our government cannot, or will not, solve. Poverty, homelessness and the dangerously high levels of emotional and psychological stress experienced by low-income students — these are the problems many of our nation’s public school teachers face every day.

“Our nation’s obsession with standardized test scores will not solve these problems, and they put our country at great risk intellectually as well as economically. As educational researcher Yong Zhao writes, countries with which we are often compared — such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea — are moving away from a focus on testing in their public schools. Why? Because they have learned from the history of the United States that a great education and nation is one that rewards creativity, originality, imagination and innovation….

“The most recent scapegoat for our nation’s shameful achievement gap is teacher preparation programs, for failing to produce a steady stream of what the U.S. Department of Education abstractly calls “great teachers” to work in our neediest public schools. By blaming teacher preparation programs, the department can yet again divert public attention from the most crucial barrier to achieving educational equality: poverty.

There is a need for more “great teachers” who will commit themselves to our state’s neediest public schools. But achieving this goal will take more than naive slogans or punitive measures levied against teacher preparation programs that do not successfully persuade graduates to teach in these schools. The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations for teacher preparation — with its emphasis on standardized test scores — work against this goal because of the overly technical, anti-intellectual portrait of teaching they endorse. We in Connecticut need to make these jobs more attractive to prospective teachers through increased respect, support and autonomy rather than criticism, disdain and surveillance.”

The entire commentary piece authored by the deans can be found here: Stop Blaming Teachers And Relying On Tests.

The authors of the powerful piece are Kevin G. Basmadjian, the dean of the School of Education at Quinnipiac University. Also participating in writing this piece were: James Carl, dean of the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University; Allen P. Cook, dean of the School of Education at the University of Bridgeport; Sandy Grande, chair of the Education Department at Connecticut College; Robert D. Hannafin, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions at Fairfield University; Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, dean of the School of Education at the University of Saint Joseph; Nancy S. Niemi, chair and professor in the Education Department at the University of New Haven; and Joan E. Venditto, director of education programs at Albertus Magnus College.

Achievement First Inc. New Haven charter money grab tabled

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Public opposition to another privately run, publicly funded charter school in New Haven has led to the City’s pro-charter superintendent of schools withdrawing his plan to turn over even more scarce public funds to Achievement First, Inc., the large charter school management company with schools in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

As reported in an article entitled, Charter Deal Tabled, the New Haven Independent writes;

“Elm City Imagine” died Wednesday—at least the version that would have had New Haven’s Board of Ed entering into a partnership this year with the Achievement First charter network on a new school.

Superintendent Garth Harries announced, through a memo sent to Board of Education members, that he has tabled the proposal.

Controversy over the plan had drowned out the public schools’ other efforts at improving education, Harries said in an interview. He said the proposed deal got swallowed in the broader national debate over the role of charter schools.

“This began to threaten the foundation of school change, which is collaboration on behalf of kids,” Harries said.

[…]

Elm City Imagine began as an effort by Achievement First (AF) to design, with the help of the inventor of the computer mouse, an experimental K-8 school of the future. AF, which runs local charter schools such as Amistad Academy, planned to open Imagine in the fall as a K-1 at first, eventually expanding to fourth grade. Saying it couldn’t raise enough money privately to launch the school, AF negotiated a “partnership” with Harries under which New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) would provide $700 in cash and in-kind services per student for a school that AF would run and staff (not including the legally required contribution for transportation and special education services).

The proposed deal sparked intense opposition. Teachers began organizing against it. So did school administrators. Opponents lined up for hours at public meetings to blast the deal. They said it shifted needed money and autonomy to well-funded charters. They argued that the deal didn’t represent a true partnership—but rather the first step toward a private takeover of public schools.

You can read the full article at:  http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/charter_deal_canned/

You can read the earlier Wait, What? posts about the money grab at:

The “done deal” to divert scarce public funds to another Achievement First Inc. hits a road block

New Haven (& CT) Taxpayers to subsidize Achievement First’s corporate development plan?

Parents, Teachers and Taxpayers – Beware the Achievement First Inc. Money Grab in New Haven

CT Teacher Martin Walsh Slams Common Core SBAC Testing Scheme

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Martin Walsh is a Connecticut teacher and public education advocate.  He is also challenging the incumbent CEA President Sheila Cohen in this spring’s election for CEA Officers.

In a commentary piece posted at CTMirror today entitled, “SBAC test is part of corporate plan to discredit Connecticut public schools,” Martin Walsh makes one of the strongest statements by any educator about the failing of the Common Core SBAC Test.

If you are going to read one piece about the discriminatory, unfair and inappropriate Common Core Testing Scam, this is the piece to read.  Read it then then pass it on to every parents, teacher and citizens you know.  Now is the time to opt out children out of the Common Core SBAC Testing disaster

SBAC test is part of corporate plan to discredit Connecticut public schools (By Marin Walsh)

Our founders recognized that the fundamental purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. The Declaration of Independence reads in pertinent part “…A]ll men are created equal… they are endowed…with certain unalienable rights…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”

How, then, does the State of Connecticut justify the obstacles and roadblocks it has erected to prevent parents from exercising the right to opt their children out of corporate-backed standardized testing?

Easy. It doesn’t. It puts them in place and arrogantly dares anyone to defy them. And it doesn’t expect many parents to challenge the test anyway.

Why aren’t more parents alarmed by these for-profit corporate-sponsored tests? Largely because they trust their public schools and local elected officials to notify them of threats to their children’s welfare.

Sadly, most superintendents, boards of education and even the teachers’ unions are letting parents and schoolchildren down by not informing them of the pernicious nature of the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) test.

For example, most parents don’t realize that the FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was amended to allow the corporations behind SBAC to use the test for data mining. Children’s data is no longer protected by federal law.

Additionally, the cut scores which determine passing rates have been arbitrarily set to ensure that about 60 percent of those taking the language arts test will fail and the failure rate for the math portion will be about 70 percent.

Not content with labeling schools and teachers as failures in order to advance its agenda, the corporate reform movement (actively abetted by Gov. Dannel Malloy and the State Board of Education) callously plans to attach the label to children.

Mastery test results should be used to measure progress and show teachers where support is needed to promote student success, not to brand children as failures.

In New York, and other states, test results have caused outrage after the fact and resulted in strong coalitions of parents and teachers opposed to toxic testing. Superintendents, administrators and teacher unions know this. Why are they silent? Why are so many of them willing tools in the state’s plan to thwart the right of parents to opt out? They should be challenged on that point until a satisfactory answer is provided.

The real purpose of the SBAC test is to buttress the corporate mantra of “failed public schools” in order to advance their case for the privatization of education. Rupert Murdoch put it bluntly in 2010 when he said “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone…”

That figure comes in part from test support materials, software and new textbooks aligned with the Common Core, but much of it will come from the expansion of charter schools.

Today, Connecticut is dumping $100 million dollars of taxpayer money into charter schools every year with little to no oversight and the governor’s proposed budget contains funding for an additional four. At the same time, magnet schools have gone unfunded and the state is doing everything in its power to dismiss or delay the CCJEF (Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding) vs. Rell case which would require the state to honor its obligation to adequately fund public schools, an obligation which it has never met.

The SBAC is one aspect of a larger scheme which, at its core, is about corporate greed, not the welfare of children. I urge parents to investigate this issue for themselves and to opt their children out of the SBAC if they have concerns. A sample opt-out letter can be downloaded from this website: Walshminnick2015.org.

Martin Walsh, a teacher in Glastonbury and resident of Wethersfield, is a candidate for president of the Connecticut Education Association.

Moales and Charter School Industry go down to crushing defeat in Bridgeport – Again

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Despite the support of Governor Malloy’s political operatives, including Bridgeport Mayor Finch and the ConnCAN/Achievement First Inc. charter school industry, pro-charter school candidate Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. couldn’t even muster enough voters to impact yesterday’s Special Election for a seat in the Connecticut State Senate.

The infamous Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. came in a distant 3rd place in yesterday’s Special Election collecting only 503 votes compared to the winner, Working Families Party candidate and former state senator Ed Gomes, who received 1,504.  The Democratic Party endorsed candidate Richard DeJesus, who Finch initially supported before turning to Moales, garnered 791 voters.

According to the Working Families Party, Ed Gomes becomes the first candidate in the country to win a legislative seat running only on the Working Families Party line.

Kenneth Moales Jr. has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Governor Malloy’s Corporate Education Reform Industry initiatives.

Moales was not only a leading champion of education reformer extraordinaire Paul Vallas but has been a major proponent of Steve Perry’s plan to open a charter school in Bridgeport.

The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. sits on the Board of Directors for Perry’s charter school and was a lone voice on the Bridgeport Board of Education when the democratically-elected board asked the Malloy administration NOT TO approve Perry’s charter school application.

However, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and his political appointees on the State Board of Education overlooked the position taken by the Bridgeport Board of Education and last spring and approved Perry’s plan to open a privately-owned but publicly-funded charter school in Bridgeport.

Although Governor Malloy’s proposed state budget actually cuts funding for public schools in Connecticut, the governor’s plan adds funding for four new charter schools in the state, including Steve Perry’s charter and one in Bridgeport that will be owned by an out-of-state company.

Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. previously served as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer and his loss yesterday marks the fourth time in a row that Bridgeport voters rejected Finch and the charter school industry agenda.

Finch is up for re-election this fall and opposition to granting him another term is gaining steam.

Pelto renews challenge to Corporate Education Reform Industry Leaders to Debate

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A week ago I issued a request to the paid spokespeople of the Corporate Education Reform Industry in Connnecticut to set up a debate to discuss the educational issues facing Connecticut.  Their response has been silence.

Therefore, I am renewing my request and sent the following email to Jennifer Alexander, Chief Executive Officer, ConnCAN and Jeffrey A. Villar, Executive Director, Connecticut Council for Education Reform

Ms. Alexander, Mr. Villar;

Considering neither of you list your email address on the ConnCAN or CCER websites, I assuming that you may not have received my February 17, 2015 email challenging you to meet and discuss the educational issues that are confronting Connecticut.

As paid representatives of the Corporate Education Reform Industry you have been making a variety of statements to Connecticut  media outlets that I consider to be extremely misleading.  In many cases, those statements have gone unchallenged because there is no readily available mechanism to refute your unsubstantiated claims.

The people of Connecticut deserve an open discussion about these important issues and so I am renewing my request that you agree to a public debate about these issues.

I am hopeful that one or more of Connecticut’s media outlets would be willing to provide a venue for this important discussion.

The clock is ticking on this year’s legislative session so please get back to me so that we can work through any logistics or issues that need to be addressed prior to such a debate.

Jonathan Pelto

Education Advocate

Education Blogger

February 17, 2015:  Pelto Challenges Connecticut’s Corporate Education Reform Industry Leaders to debate

After spending record amounts of money lobbying for Governor Dannel Malloy’s Corporate Education Reform Industry Initiatives, Connecticut’s corporate funded education reform advocacy groups continue to spend millions of dollars misleading parents and policy makers, denigrating teachers and the teaching profession and promoting the discriminatory, inappropriate and unfair Common Core and Common Core Testing Scheme.

Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Inc. (ConnCAN) and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform Inc. (CCER) are two of the leading entities behind the wholesale assault on public education in Connecticut.

As the paid ambassadors for those seeking to profit off of our children and our public schools, these so-called “education reformers” have constantly and consistently resorted to misleading statements and outright lies to back up their anti-public education agenda and rhetoric.

Unfortunately for Connecticut’s students, parents, teachers, public schools and taxpayers, these apologists for Governor Malloy and his corporate education reform agenda have gone unchallenged.

That situation has got to stop.

Today I am asking WNPR’s Where We Live, WFSB’s Face the State, FOXCT’s The Real Story, CT Report with Steve Kotchko and other appropriate news forums to host a debate between myself and any one of the leaders of these corporate advocacy fronts such as Jeffrey Villar, the Executive Director of Connecticut Council for Education Reform and Jennifer Alexander, the Chief Executive Officer of ConnCAN.

The people of Connecticut deserves the truth and a discussion on television or radio about the truth behind the corporate education reform industry’s efforts will provide Connecticut’s citizens with the information they need to tell fact from fiction.

 

 

More than 90% of English Language Learners “Projected” to Fail Common Core SBAC Test

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The time for outrage is upon us!

The Common Core testing scam must be stopped.

Considering that many of the world’s greatest scientists, authors, actors, teachers and leaders were once English Language Learners one would think the public education system in the United States would be designed to promote and support opportunities for those who need extra help learning the English Language. Moreover you would think education policymakers would be working to find ways to take advantage of the opportunities that having a multilingual population present.

But instead, the Corporate Education Reform Industry and their supporters are pushing a political agenda that actually seeks to isolate and discriminate against the overwhelming majority of students who face any sort of challenge, including those who aren’t yet fluent in the English language.

The fundamental discriminatory nature of the Common Core testing program is yet another example of the insidious and detrimental approach that the corporate elite call “education reform.”

Take for example the situation here in Connecticut.

Faced with a growing revolt against the discriminatory, unfair and inappropriate Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, Connecticut Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy issued a press release yesterday in defense of the Common Core SBAC test saying,

“Tests are important tools in the teaching and learning toolbox that helps track student progress towards success in college and careers.”

Yes Governor Malloy, tests are important tools, but the Common Core SBAC test is not a mastery test or even a useful tool in the “teaching and learning toolbox.”  Instead it is a computer-based standardized testing system that is specifically designed in such a way as to intentionally define the vast majority of public students as failures.

Among the Common Core SBAC test’s greatest failure is its utter contempt for English Language Learners – students that are not presently proficient in the English language.

Rather than focus on developing the teaching and learning tools to ensure English Language Learners succeed, the Common Core SBAC test is a mechanism to label ELL students, and the educators who teach them, as failures.

The paid spokesperson for the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), a corporate-funded advocacy group supporting Governor Malloy’s Corporate Education Reform Initiative and the Common Core SBAC test, recently dismissed concerns about the Common Core SBAC testing program during a NBC-CT TV interview by suggesting that those who needed “extra help” taking the test would get it.  His example, students who faced language barriers could have their Common Core SBAC questions asked in Spanish.

Forget the fact that the children in the Hartford Public School System go back to homes that speak 79 different languages…what CCER’s executive director failed to address is that it is the Common Core SBAC test itself that is actually the problem because it is designed in such a way that more than 90% of ELL students will not meet the artificial “goal” level.

This year every Connecticut public school is required to implement the Common Core SBAC test and the pass/fail “cut scores” are based on the results of last year’s 2014 Common Core SBAC field test.

According to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s own information, more than 90 percent of the English Language Learners will be labeled as failures.

Rather than discuss whether the test is an appropriate tool or is appropriately calibrated when it comes to passing or failing, the proponents simply say that “it is what it is.”

That, in English, is called discrimination and racism….

And it has no place in the nation’s public schools.

Here are some of the “projected” results for the Common Core SBAC Test

Projected Failure Rate for English Language Learners on English (ELA) Section

4th Grade ELL Students    90.2% WILL FAIL
 6th Grade ELL Students  95.1% WILL FAIL
 8th Grade ELL Students  95.2% WILL FAIL
11TH Grade ELL Students  94.3% WILL FAIL

 

Projected Failure Rate for English Language Learners on Math Section

4th Grade ELL Students    89.1% WILL FAIL
 6th Grade ELL Students  94.8% WILL FAIL 
 8th Grade ELL Students  94.7% WILL FAIL
11TH Grade ELL Students  94.3% WILL FAIL

 

Important Note:  The SBAC Pass/Fail “cut scores” were set in November 2014 and Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, voted in favor of these Pass/Fail rates.  Interestingly, Vermont and New Hampshire abstained on the vote because they didn’t think the way the tests were being scored was fair.

Yesterday’s Wait, What? blog post explained that the Common Core SBAC testing scheme is geared to identify 9 in 10 special education students as failures.  It is equally reprehensible that a massive national standardized testing system would be created in which that more than 90 percent of our nation’s English Language Learners are labeled as failing.

The problem is not our children.

The problem is the immoral and unethical Corporate Education Reform Industry and their political allies like Democratic Governors Dan Malloy and Andrew Cuomo who are undermining the sanctity of a fair and just society.

The hundreds of billions spent on the Common Core testing operation could have made a real difference if it was spent on supporting the quality of education for our nation’s children rather than for creating a discriminatory testing system that undermines their very sense of self and self-worth.

Parents need to opt their children out of the Common Testing debacle before it is too late.

You can find out more about the SBAC cut score system at: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Disaggregated-FieldTestDataFINAL.pdf

Common Core SBAC Test Designed to ID 9 in 10 Special Education Children as Failures

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The Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test is intentionally designed to ensure that the vast majority of students are deemed failures.  [The Common Core PARCC test is no better]

According to SBAC’s own official policy, the Common Core SBAC test is designed so that almost 7 in 10 children who take the “mandatory” test fail to reach “goal” in math and about 6 in 10 are deemed failures in English Language Arts.

Making the Common Core SBAC test even more inappropriate is that the fact that the 2014 SBAC Field Test results prove that the test discriminates against students who come from poor households, students who are not proficient in the English Language (English Language Learners) and students who need special education services.

Perhaps the most outrageous reality of all is that the Common Core SBAC test is rigged to ensure that the almost all students who require special education services are deemed to be failures.

Not only is the Common Core SBAC test unfair and inappropriate, it is nothing short of immoral and unethical.

According the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Disaggregated Field Test Data for 2014, the cut scores that have been set for this year’s test are designed to produce the following results:

Projected Failure Rate for Special Education Students with IEPs on the Common Core SBAC Math Section

4th Grade Math – Special Education Students with IEPs 87.1% WILL FAIL
6th Grade Math – Special Education Students with IEPs 91.3% WILL FAIL
8th Grade Math –  Special Education Students with IEPs 90.3% WILL FAIL
11TH Grade Math –  Special Education Students with IEPs 92.5% WILL FAIL

 

Projected Failure Rate for Special Education Students with IEPs on Common Core SBAC English (ELA) Section

4th Grade Math – Special Education Students with IEPs 83.6% WILL FAIL
6th Grade Math – Special Education Students with IEPs 90.1% WILL FAIL 
8th Grade Math –  Special Education Students with IEPs 91.5% WILL FAIL
11TH Grade Math –  Special Education Students with IEPs 91% WILL FAIL

 

These are the official projected results based on the SBAC Field Test of 2014 and the Pass/Fail “cut scores” adopted by the SBAC Committee in November 2014.

A civilized society does not produce a Common Core testing system that is designed so that 9 in 10 special education students are deemed failures…. But then again, the Corporate Education Reform Industry does not reflect the values of a civilized society.

Check out the results based on the SBAC cut score system at: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Disaggregated-FieldTestDataFINAL.pdf

And after you read what is going on – then do everything you can to opt your children out of this unfair and inappropriate Common Core SBAC test and derail their criminal system of unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory standardized testing.

Connecticut Education Association says put the focus on student learning, not testing.

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Seven weeks after Governor Dannel Malloy was sworn into a second term and the Connecticut General Assembly began to consider legislation for the 2015 Session, the Connecticut Education Association held a press conference today to proclaim;

Teachers and voters sound the alarm on excessive testing

File this one under – a little late, but better late than never…

With the massive inappropriate, unfair and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing scam about to sweep into Connecticut’s public schools, the Connecticut Education Association  held a “major news conference” to discuss:

  • what we want to happen to testing;
  • how we want it to happen; and,
  • what we—together through legislative advocacy—must do to get it done.

The union representing most of Connecticut’s public school teachers said they were going to, “call on the Connecticut General Assembly to reduce the testing burden on students.”

The CEA’s news release can be found at:  CEA news release

The CEA is also releasing a new public opinion poll that “indicates the voting public wants the state legislature to take action to reduce testing.”

The CEA’s leadership is also announcing that, it has,

“[B]een in high-level discussions with decision makers at the U.S. Department of Education to determine how Connecticut can meet onerous federal requirements, while still reducing testing. Sound impossible? It isn’t.”

The teacher’s union is going to air two new television ads about the testing issue which apparently can be seen here – Click here to see the new ads.

And the CEA has, “launched a petition drive to round out our efforts to get positive change. Click here to sign the CEA petition.”

I added my name, hopefully other Wait, What? readers will sign the petition as well.

The CEA press release apparently makes no mention of what, if anything, the American Federation of Teachers – Connecticut Chapter is doing to stop the students, parents and teachers by fighting the Common Core SBAC testing madness.

The press release also fails to address what the CEA expected since the union leadership had overruled its own endorsement committee and through the union’s support behind Governor Dannel Malloy who has pledged to stay the course on his Corporate Education Reform Industry Agenda.

The AFT donated in excess of $600,000; while the National Education Association gave Malloy’s various campaign accounts a much smaller amount of money.

More on this breaking news as it becomes available.

Unfortunately, the CEA press release also fails to make a strong and definitive statement of support for a parent’s fundamental right to opt their children out of the unfair and discriminatory Common Core Test.

Nevertheless, it is good news that the leadership of Connecticut’s largest union is taking action to urge the legislature to reduce the amount of standardized testing.

Again, you can find the CEA press release here: http://www.cea.org/issues/press/2015/feb/23/teachers-and-voters-sound-the-alarm-on-excessive-testing.cfm

More on this breaking news as it becomes available.

Wait, What? Week-in Review – A lot going down – Please take a look

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With the massive Common Core SBAC Testing scam about to swallow up Connecticut’s children and public schools, a disastrous proposed state budget having been put forward by Governor Dannel “REqad My Lips” Malloy and a special state senate election in Bridgeport featuring the darling of the charter school industry, the disgraced Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr, the Wait, What? blog has been blaze with activity and extra posts and comments.

If you haven’t had time to review some of the recent blog posts, please take a moment to read up about the developments that are taking place around us.

Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Test

Parents & Teachers Please Read – the Common Core Test is rigged to fail students

Is your public school student a “failure” – the Common Core SBAC Test says probably yes!

Teachers across America are fighting for their students – Where the hell are CT’s teacher unions

Opt-Out Gobbledygook – The Regional School District No. 14 Example

Malloy on Corporate Education Reform Agenda – “stay the course” “even if [policies] aren’t that popular”

Pelto Challenges Connecticut’s Corporate Education Reform Industry Leaders to debate

Yes to SBAC opt out request brings Bristol CT off the SBAC Wall of Shame

Connecticut Teacher Union perfects the concept of Sleeping with the Enemy

***** Sample opt out letter for Connecticut parents *****

 

Malloy’s State Budget Plan:

Malloy budget targets most vulnerable among us (By Sarah Darer Littman)

Dan Malloy’s cut to end all cuts – Bring out your dead (or don’t as the case may be)

The Biggest Winner in Malloy’s Budget – Charter Schools

Read it and Weep – Malloy’s budget – More money for charter schools, less money for public schools

Dan “Read My Lips” Malloy goes with $900 million plus in new revenue…

Ya know that “no tax pledge” I made during the campaign, well I lied! – Surprise

News Flash: Malloy reneges on sales clothing exemption commitment to pay for tiny cut in sales tax

 

The real story surrounding the Special State Senate Election in Bridgeport

Hey Reverend Moales – Where is the missing money?

Another effort to stamp out democracy in Bridgeport – What is it with Mayor Finch and the Charter School Industry?

Mayor Finch shifts to Reverend Moales in Bridgeport Special State Senate Election

 

Other key issues including the Achievement First Inc Charter School Money Grab in New Haven

The “done deal” to divert scarce public funds to another Achievement First Inc. hits a road block

New Haven (& CT) Taxpayers to subsidize Achievement First’s corporate development plan?

Parents, Teachers and Taxpayers – Beware the Achievement First Inc. Money Grab in New Haven

Charter School Renewal in CT: The Accountability Is Flexible (By Robert Cotto Jr.)

Without A Net – The challenge of learning in chaos (By Wendy Lecker)

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