CT Teachers Unions schedule rally in May – But no mention of opt out!

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!

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Great……the teacher unions are having a picnic while Dannel pulls the flush cord on their chosen careers.

    • cindy

      It is weird, isn’t it?

      And the Administrators, too. Their ratings will factor in the teacher’s rating, which factors in the students test scores!

  • Bill Morrison

    I recommend that we organize a group of us to attend the rally with “Opt Out” signs and placards. It would be great to usurp the rally!

    • Tom Burns

      that is one thing the rally is about–nothing to usurp

  • mookalaboona

    We have to get rid of the current CEA leadership. Talk to your representatives voting at the RA next month and urge them to vote the Walsh-Minnick team Sheila Cohen and Jeff Leake have failed as president and vce-president. Time to hit the road for all Malloy supporters! Every teacher needs to do this or the RA reps will keep voting the old regime in. CEA elections highly favor the incumbents but Cohen and Leake are WEAK and have to go!

    • Tom Burns

      Wrong –they have made the difference as to why we are not like other states who have capitulated–they are strong and I am an AFT member but I am amazed as to what they have accomplished and stood for–

      • mookalaboona

        No sir, you are wrong. CEA endorsed a bully just like your AFT leadership. And the havoc he has wreaked upon the teachers of this state is nothing short of criminal. CEA LEADERSHIP IS WEAK AND POWERLESS TO STOP THIS. We need new blood who can stand up to the ruffian in Hartford. CEA has made a mockery of our rights and benefits and have hurt kids in the process!

  • Sue

    When sped teachers input SBAC accommodations on the website for the reading test, there was no choice given for the Performance Task. Now every teacher knows that a reading test can’t be read to the student – it invalidates the test. Well, the Performance Task was read to students, and as a result I’m sure that when CT sped teachers heard the computer’s voice coming through the headphones, they were pulled from the students ears and in high pitched voices every teacher demanded that all volume be turned down on the Chromebooks.
    Now (after the fact) letters have to be sent to parents telling them that the test should have been read to students, and asking them sign if they want their children to retake it.
    Please tell me why should teachers have to eat crow for the state’s lack of planning and effective communication. I’d like someone from the state department to stand in for me and explain why parents have to sign this letter and be there to absorb their looks of shame instead of me.

  • buygoldandprosper

    “A copy of the state’s English Language Arts test that students took last week was leaked online Wednesday in an apparent act of sabotage by anti-testing activists.”
    COOL!
    NY is leading the fight and very successfully. Students are opting out in very large numbers.
    And Connecticut is lagging, as usual.

    • Tom Burns

      and in New York they are laying off teachers and closing schools (so how is opting-out helping) my kid will opt out and next year we should have every kid opt-out–the data we get from the first year will help us in getting rid of all this crap–and then what do we replace it with?? I like one standardized test grades 2-9–like the old days–in May–that’s it–the solution –period

  • Bill Morrison

    Is anyone willing to attend this rally with “OPT OUT” support signs? Let’s do this!

    • Tom Burns

      yep

  • Bill Morrison

    I will attend the rally and will carry an “OPT OUT” sign. I hope that others do the same, but I will do so alone if necessary. Please come and join me to make our collective position clear to our Union bosses.