IFT President Dan Montgomery Salutes Chicago Teachers Boycotting Obsolete Test

by Beth Camplain | Feb 27, 2014
Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement in support of Maria Suacedo Scholastic Academy's refusal to administer the Illinois Standardized Achievement Test.
WESTMONT, IL – Following news that more than 40 teachers at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood have unanimously refused to administer the Illinois Standardized Achievement Test (ISAT), an annual standardized test which will be phased out next year, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement of support:
"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,” said Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and a high school English teacher of 17 years. “The preparation and administration of this test brings teaching to a halt and robs students of valuable time to learn. The ISAT is not appropriately aligned to curriculum and forces educators to teach to an unnecessary test that is defunct and has absolutely no practical use. This is merely testing for testing’s sake, and we encourage parents to work with their teachers to opt out. We also strongly encourage CPS to reconsider their plans to punish teachers for doing the right thing.  IFT members around the state salute and stand with these teachers and parents as they stand up for their students.”
The ISAT test will be administered starting on Monday, March 3, but parents can opt their child out of taking it by simply informing their school’s administration. A community group called “More Than a Score” working to end the misuse of high-stakes standardized tests is providing a sample letter to school administrators, background information, and other tools to interested parents on their website here.

Saucedo special education teacher Sarah Chambers told the Chicago Sun-Times that “this ISAT test is absurd. It is not tied to anything – it’s not used in promotion, it’s not used in graduation, it’s not used for leveling of the school.”

IFT Local 1 and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen GJ Lewis also released a video statement about the ISAT boycott.

Saucedo teachers are members of the CTU, which is an affiliate (Local 1) of the IFT.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees. The Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1, is an affiliate of the IFT and the largest local teachers union in Illinois.

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