Will anything convince Connecticut’s teacher unions to join the Common Core Opt-Out Movement?

All across the nation, teacher unions at the state and local level are joining parents, students and teachers in an unprecedented uprising against the massive unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core testing scheme.

Here in Connecticut, the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing craze began on March 27, 2015.

Yet six weeks have gone by and there is still no public sign of support for the opt out movement from Connecticut’s two teacher unions – the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers – Connecticut Chapter (AFT-Connecticut).

At this point, Connecticut’s teacher unions have forever lost the opportunity to help lead the charge.  But even running to jump on the opt-out train would be an important and appreciated gesture of support for Connecticut’s public school students, parents and teachers.

What is so incredibly strange, even bizarre, about the utter lack of action by Connecticut’s teacher unions is that it is in such stark contrast to what other teacher unions are doing around the country.

In New Jersey, the headline on the New Jersey Education Association website demands that Republican Governor Chris Christie and his administration, “Stop attacking parents…” for opting out of the Common Core Tests. 

And the pushback against New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is just as strong, as  NYSUT, the union that represents more than 600,000 New York State teachers, school-related professionals and academic and professional faculty in higher education continues its full-fledged campaign to help educate and support parents who are opting out of that state’s Common Core Testing.

In New York, the union’s well-funded program has provided needed support for parents and students, which, in turn, has helped to boost the number of students opting out from around  40,000 last year to as many as a quarter of a million this year.

Numerous public high schools in New York State are reporting more than 50 percent of high school juniors have been opted out of the destructive Common Core test and many high schools are seeing opt-out rates exceeding 80 percent.

But here in Connecticut, Governor Malloy’s administration’s goes unchecked as it continues to lie and mislead parents about their right to opt their children out of the testing scam and some local school superintendents go unchallenged as they inappropriately tell highs school juniors that they cannot graduate unless they take the SBAC test – a policy that would be illegal if true.

In state after state, teacher unions have stepped up to leverage their political power and visibility on behalf of the opt-out effort.

This weekend, the Massachusetts Teachers Association joined the effort endorsing the fundamental right of parents to opt their children out of the Common Core testing.

The MTA’s resolution states;

That parents in Massachusetts deserve the choice to opt their public school students out of high-stakes standardized assessments.

That districts should be required to provide all parents with yearly written information explaining their right to opt students out of assessments.

That students who opt out should not be included in data used by state or federal entities in “grading” schools.

That no parent or student should be penalized because of a parental decision to opt out.

That no educator should be disciplined for discussing with students, parents or community members the options for opting students out of high-stakes tests.

Barbara Madeloni, who as a challenger became president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association last year wrote,

 “Supporting the right to opt out is one of the strongest statements we can make as educators against standardized testing.”

Madeloni added,

“The MTA will vigorously defend any educator who is disciplined for supporting the right of parents and students to opt out. The more people step up and speak out, the clearer will be the message to our legislators that the people of Massachusetts want to put a stop to the madness of standardized testing.

Standardized testing is distorting the goals of public education and choking the creativity and joy that should be at the center of teaching and learning.”

Even now at this late date Connecticut’s teacher unions can and should step up and join the opt-out battle.

Just as Connecticut’s public school teachers need and deserve the support of the state’s students and parents…

Connecticut’s students, parents and teachers need and deserve the help and support of Connecticut’s teacher unions in this historic battle against the corporate education reform and testing industry and those like Governor Dannel Malloy who continue their anti-teacher, anti-student, anti-parent, anti-public education initiatives.

  • truthsayer

    In answer to your question: No! because they and the rest of the State employees unions are firmly up Malloy’s butt.

  • Charlie Puffers

    It’s time to replace union leadership in CT with leaders who speak for the members not the politicians.

    • don’t trust them

      In order for the CA to be representative of all members is to allow the members, All The Members and not just the reps, to vote in the upcoming election. I am sick and tired of reading about change and to get out and vote the current and spineless leaders out when I can’t even vote. Do I trust “my rep” to represent my vote? No. That’s why we are in the jam we are right now. And the CEA wants my support and show up for a rally tomorrow to protest all the testing that THEY got us into???? NOT.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Connecticut’s teacher unions are simply bought and paid for. Prostitutes cannot turn on their pimps now can they??

  • mookalaboona

    AND THE WON’T. Cohen and Leake are NOT leaders and never should have been elected the first time around. To vote them in at the RA this weekend would be a travesty and a blow to public school teachers everywhere in this state. Our only hope is Walsh/Minnick. Let’s get new leadership in CEA. There’s no hope for AFT. They’re too far gone!

    • Tom Burns

      you have no idea

  • Tom Burns

    You are so right here Jon–but our Unions have won in a different, mature, thoughtful and calculated way to this point–oh how easy it is to just fight and oppose–and lose–as have the teachers in NYC, Chicago, Philly, DC, New Orleans and a plethora of other places–Not here–so far–but our joke of a Governor has broken the last straw standing up for Charters against EVERYONE who knows what is right–GOD–we had no choice–but I beg the Republicans to put up anyone who stands against the Corporate takeover of education and who stands for our children, our families and our democracy and all of the Urban districts and teachers will stand up for them–no more pandering from either side–Dan has no one who likes him but himself–say goodbye–but if you run Foley again–I will vote for this disturbing individual (Malloy)–he has no friends or supporters and his personal ambition is disturbing–say goodbye Dan–its over–our Unions did what they had to do–but now it is time to turn up the heat on this clown–and we will start tomorrow–CT must not lose–