The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers – Connecticut Chapter (AFT-CT) have scheduled a rally on Tuesday, May 12th at 5:00 p.m. at the State Capitol in Hartford — but unfortunately their effort IS NOT related to stepping forward to support Connecticut’s growing SBAC opt-out movement.
Instead the planned teacher union rally is focused on promoting the union’s proposed legislation (Senate Bill 1095) which is a well-intentioned proposal to “phase-out” the SBAC Testing, but contains a series of issues and problems of its own.
The CEA and AFT-CT proposal seeks to phase out the Common Core SBAC testing scheme and replace it with a different statewide testing system that would still result in assigning every child a series of “scores” and then rank order children, schools and school districts based on those scores.
For example, one of the oddest and most disturbing aspects of CEA and AFT-CT’s legislative proposals would be the creation of a “Creativity indicator” for every child. The union’s plan would be to assign each student a “Creativity indicator” score based on, “the weighted sum of students’ ability to utilize interdisciplinary knowledge to address questions and challenges, simulate situations to estimate outcomes, explore new innovative approaches to interests and issues, research and design or develop new ideas and scored as determined by the commission on student learning and school quality…” According to the union plan, 15 percent of a school’s performance index would be based on the cumulative student creativity indicator scores.
While it is great news that Connecticut’s teachers unions are taking a more aggressive stance against the SBAC testing scam, parents seeking to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC test need and deserve the support of the teacher unions and progressive groups right now.
The union-sponsored rally won’t even be held until Connecticut’s public schools are more than two-thirds of the way through the SBAC testing period.
The material being sent out to teachers about the union rally refers to legislation that the Connecticut General Assembly’s Education Committee held a public hearing on back on March 19th, 2015.
However, the Education Committee failed to use any of the unions’ suggested language when they passed the bill out of the committee. Instead the Education Committee merely endorsed the concept of a study about the Common Core SBAC testing and, even then, failed to include the test’s validity as an issue to be studied.
Dumping the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC test is a critical part of derailing the corporate education reform industry’s unwarranted attack on teachers, students, parents and public schools, but Connecticut’s teachers unions should make it a priority to speak out on behalf of parents’ right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC test …. while working to implement an alternative system.
The Common Core SBAC test is nothing short of a scheme designed to label the vast majority of Connecticut public school students as failures and it is rigged to undermine Connecticut’s students, teachers and public schools.
It is great news the teacher unions want to have a rally about doing away with the SBAC test but their voice on opt-out is needed now!