Parents across the nation are rising up against the Common Core testing scheme. More than 200,000 parents in New York State have already stepped up and refused to allow their children to be abused by the unfair Common Core tests. The number of opt-outs in New York could easily exceed a quarter of a million by next week.
Although Governor Dannel Malloy, his State Board of Education, most state legislators and the leadership of Connecticut’s two teacher unions are refusing to step forward and support Connecticut’s parents and children, the opt out effort is growing here as well.
As in New York, the Connecticut opt out effort will skyrocket after parents receive their children’s scores next summer and learn, first hand, just how inappropriate and discriminatory the Common Core test really is.
As parents are slowly coming understand, the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC testing program is intentionally designed to fail the vast majority of children, including a projected failure rate of over 90 percent for students requiring special education services and those that aren’t fluent in the English language.
The Common Core SBAC pass/fail rate is so rigged that 3 in 4 African American and Latino children will likely fail the 8th grade English/Language Arts portion of the SBAC test and the failure rate for 8th grade math will exceed 80 percent for African American and Latino children.
What most parents still don’t understand is that the gross absurdity of the Common Core SBAC test is the fact that not only is it designed to fail students but under Governor Malloy’s “Teacher Evaluation Program,” the twisted results are to be used to “judge’ teachers.
Governor Malloy’s corporate education reform initiative included a new mandated teacher evaluation program. According to the propaganda produced by Malloy’s State Department of Education;
“Excellent schools begin with great school leaders and teachers. The importance of highly-skilled educators is beyond dispute…”
“The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is committed to raising the overall quality of our schools’ workforce….”
“Educator evaluation is the cornerstone of this holistic approach and contributes to the improvement of individual and collective practice. High-quality evaluations are necessary to inform the individualized professional development and support that an educator may require. Such evaluations also identify professional strengths which should form the basis of new professional opportunities. High-quality evaluations are also necessary to make fair employment decisions based on teacher and leader effectiveness. Used in this way, high-quality evaluations will bring greater accountability and transparency to schools and instill greater confidence in employment decisions across the state…”
The term “high-quality” evaluation is repeated over and over and over again by Connecticut’s State Department of Education.
But in reality the Connecticut State Department of Education’s “Teacher Evaluation Program” is anything but high quality.
The Connecticut State Department of Education explains,
“Informed by research, including the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) study … [The Gates Foundation is the major force behind the Common Core and Common Core testing]… Connecticut’s System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) is a model evaluation and support system that is aligned to the Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation (Core Requirements), which were adopted by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) in 2012 and revised in 2014…”
However, what the rhetoric skips over is that reality that foundation of Connecticut teacher evaluation system actually uses the faulty Common Core SBAC test scores.
The Malloy administration’s “teacher evaluation program” is based on the following factors:
Student learning (45%),
Teacher performance and practice (40%),
Parent feedback (10%)
School-wide student learning or student feedback (5%)
The formula looks reasonable enough until one learns that half of the “Student Learning” portion of the evaluation system is derived from the Common Core SBAC tests meaning that all Connecticut teachers, no matter how good they are, will be punished because the Common Core tests intentionally define the majority of students as failure.
Teachers who work in urban and poorer communities, those that work with students of color, those that work with English language learners and those that teach students with special education needs will be especially punished under the new teacher evaluation system.
Imagine, instead of developing a teacher evaluation program that is actually designed to evaluate teachers, Connecticut’s elected and appointed officials have concocted a bureaucratic nightmare that relies on the untried, untested and faulty Common Cores SBAC tests results.
The new teacher evaluation program is only absurd and unfair but counterproductive because it will produce a disincentive to work in more challenging districts and with more challenging student populations.
The fact is Connecticut’s elected officials; the teacher unions and all who believe in public education should be doing far more to support parents who are opting their children out of the Common Core testing.
And equally important, those same people and groups should be de-couple the teacher evaluation program from the Common Core tests and demand that the Connecticut State Department of Education develop a fair, appropriate and effective teacher evaluation programs.
Good teacher evaluation programs exist; there are even experts in Connecticut who have developed outstanding models that could and should be utilized in Connecticut’s school districts.
The powers that be need to stop the Common Core testing madness before they do even more damage to our children, our teachers and our public education system.