Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Say No to PARCC

CTU Passes Resolution Against the PARCC Exam
By Jim Vail

The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates passed a resolution against the PARCC exam. In fact, the Chicago Public Schools is in agreement that this high stakes exam should not be implemented this year because of technical problems. However, they will pilot the test for about 66 schools. Still, the concern is that CPS only wants to delay implementing a test that will guarantee the majority of students will fail. This well-written resolution from the CTU states why this test should be thrown out, and a new one designed with more teacher input.

Resolution Against the PARCC Assessment

1 WHEREAS, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is pedagogically detrimental to student learning and emotional well-being and the teaching profession because it:

a. Is an invalid and unreliable test that student learning time is lost to pilot

Diverts billions of dollars towards private interests in a time that vital resources are being taken away from students’ basic educational and emotional needs

c. Runs counter to research and practiced principles of strong teaching and learning

d. Is used for many destructive practices that label students, teachers, schools and communities as “failing”

e. Has disparate negative impact on students of highest need along race, class and ableist lines; and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Teacher Union already unanimously voted during the 2013-2014 school year to oppose the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the aligned tests as a framework for teaching and learning; and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Public School CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett asked the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in June/July 2014 to receive a waiver for this year’s PARCC testing with one reason being that “our schools are simply not ready for full-scale implementation,” which confirms our schools do not have the necessary technological resources to fully implement such testing; and

WHEREAS, in order for a standardized test to give meaningful information, it must first be administered to a nationally normed sample group and proven to have reliability and validity; and in 2014-2015 the PARCC is being piloted as a field test, which means reliability and validity of scores have not yet been established, and yet Illinois is planning to use the results as a baseline in their state accountability systems; and

WHEREAS, of the 23 states that originally adopted the Common Core State Standards and PARCC assessment, 21 more than half have withdrawn and only 12 states remain in the group that plans to administer the PARCC; and

WHEREAS, the American Statistical Association released a statement in April of 2014 stating that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions and that ranking teachers by their Value Added Measure
(VAM) scores can have unintended consequences that reduce [teacher] quality; and

WHEREAS, this norming process is laying the groundwork for the unscientific, unreliable and inequitable practice of using PARCC as a basis for VAM evaluations of Illinois educators; and

WHEREAS, in previous pilot administrations, educators involved in the grading process have come forward to describe how PARCC was intentionally and arbitrarily normed to fail most students due to the misguided belief that students perform better in school when motivated through fear of their own inadequacy; and in previous pilot administrations in New York, the vast majority of students have failed especially highest need students and students of color; and

WHEREAS, CPS has reinstituted the destructive practice of test based retention and has indicated that PARCC may be used in the future for such purpose; and such retention has been tried in the past and every comprehensive study of the results has shown that it has been damaging to students; and

WHEREAS, according to the Pioneer Institute for Public Research, Pearson will profit over $15 billion over a 7-37 year period from the implementation of the Common Core Standards, the PARCC test and test-prep materials; and

WHEREAS, the Obama Administration awarded PARCC and Smart Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) a 39 combined $360 million to develop the new standardized tests aligned to the CCSS instead of dedicating said funds 40 to provide the much needed support for our most disadvantaged students in the form of more social workers, 41 counselors, support staff, funding school libraries and providing robust extracurricular programs; and

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois, has consistently underfunded public education, is spending over $57 million on 43 PARCC implementation this year for a test administration that will be neither valid nor reliable, and is an expensive 44 experiment to norm PARCC on students without their or their families’ consent; and

WHEREAS, in 2014, the CPS schools with large percentages of students who opted out of the Illinois Standard 46 Achievement Test (ISAT), and/or teachers boycotting the ISAT, were threatened with loss of accreditation, the 47 decertification of teachers, funding cuts, lowering of schools performance ratings; yet, none of this occurred; and

WHEREAS, for the 2014-2015 school year, PARCC is a low stakes test; therefore, it has no effect for the 2014-2015 school year on the School’s Quality Rating Policy (SQRP), teacher evaluation, student promotion or school 50 funding; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the CTU encourage and support its members and parents to hold parent informational sessions around the PARCC and the option of opting out; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU will encourage its members to speak and petition Local School Councils, Bilingual Advisory Committees and/or Parent Advisory Councils about the excessive amount of time that our students are being tested and prepared for tests, and the harmful impact on teaching and learning; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU will distribute a sample petition supporting a curriculum shift away from test-prep and towards a well rounded curriculum described in The Schools Chicago Students Deserve and a testing calendar to each school’s delegate; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU support the “Opt-out” bill sponsored by State Representative Will Guzzardi and Senator William Delgado and legislation that delays the PARCC; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU, either independently or in cooperation with CPS develop and conduct a complete audit of the time and resources expended on high stakes testing and preparation for such tests by June 2016; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU encourage Barbara Byrd-Bennett, all members on the Board of Education and all 65 principals to take the PARCC test and publicly release their results; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU encourages teachers to hold “PARCC parent/teacher practice sessions” where the parents and teachers take the practice PARCC and reflect on their experiences; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU encourage the Board of Education to stop using standardized test scores for making decisions on student promotion, teacher evaluations, school ratings and the decision to close or turnaround schools; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Illinois State Board of Education, the Chicago Board of Education, the Governor of Illinois, and all members of the Illinois legislative branch; the Mayor and City Council of Chicago; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that should this resolution be passed by the CTU House of Delegates, an appropriate version will be submitted to the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.

No comments:

Post a Comment