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.
More HERE | Ben Velderman is a communications specialist for EAGnews