CHICAGO – There was a time when bitter, burned-out teachers were seen as embarrassments to their profession, but not anymore.
In Chicago, a group of angry, activist educators who are refusing to administer next week’s state standardized – known as the ISAT – are being hailed by teacher union leaders and other leftists as social justice crusaders and “profiles in courage.”
But in the eyes of Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the boycotting teachers are guilty of insubordination and at risk of having their state education certification yanked as punishment, reports ProgressIllinois.com.
Ground zero in this fight over standardized testing is Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, a CPS school that serves pre-kindergartners through eighth-graders. The school’s teachers “voted unanimously Tuesday to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT),” SunTimes.com reports.
The boycotting educators and their supporters haven’t been at a loss of words in describing ISAT. They say the test is “unjust,” “dehumanizing” and – considering that ISAT isn’t fully aligned with schools’ new Common Core-aligned curriculum – worthless.
The anti-testing sentiment has spread to parents, too. Reports indicate that 65 percent of Saucedo students have been opted-out of the test by their parents.
Byrd-Bennett has no control over parents, but she has a very simple response to the protesting teachers: ISAT is required by both state law and the federal government’s No Child Left Behind law, and schools with low student participation rates could lose federal funding, according to ProgressIllinois.com.
That’s why Byrd-Bennett recently sent a letter to school principals directing them to remove uncooperative teachers from the building.
“The Chicago Board of Education will discipline any employee who encourages a student not to take the ISAT or who advocates against the ISAT on work time for insubordination and for any disruption of the educational process,” Byrd-Bennett wrote in the letter, according to SunTimes.com.
The schools chief’s letter also warned teachers they could lose their state education certification due to their insubordinate behavior.
Being the malcontents and radicals that they are, Chicago Teachers Union leaders fired back that union attorneys were standing at the ready to fight against any teacher punishments.
“It’s an unjust (testing) law, and as an act of civil disobedience, we support you,” said CTU President Karen Lewis in a video message to Saucedo teachers. “You are supported by your brothers and sisters in the rest of the city. But also by the fact that what you are doing is the right thing for your students.”
Keep in mind that Lewis sold the union’s disgusting 2012 teachers’ strike as “for the children,” too.
Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery managed to outdo Lewis’ gushing support for the boycotting teachers.
“Facing the threat of discipline or termination, these brave teachers are standing up for what they believe is best for their students, no matter the personal consequences. It is nothing short of a profile in courage” Montgomery said.
What claptrap. It would have been courageous if the teachers had resigned en masse over the ISAT. But as it stands, they’re just a bunch of whiners and activists who are likely trying to spark a larger ant-testing movement.
These clowns hate testing because it makes them accountable for what they teach in their classrooms. And the evidence shows these activists would much rather spend instruction time spewing left-wing political propaganda to children than teaching.
If Chicago teachers feel so strongly that testing is morally wrong, they should resign their positions immediately and find another profession. That’s the “moral” and honorable thing to do.
There’s nothing remotely honorable about bringing anti-testing activism into the schools and disobeying instructions from school leaders.
We’re not big fans of large amounts of standardized testing, but we’re far more troubled and disgusted by the left-wing activism that’s masquerading as teaching in our schools.