CHICAGO – It’s getting difficult to find any “good guys” in the never-ending soap opera that is Chicago Public Schools.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that school investigators “yanked” elementary students out of their classroom last week to interrogate them about why they didn’t take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) earlier this month.
CPS investigators wanted to hear from students if their decision to not take the state-mandated ISAT was influenced by their teachers, the Sun-Times reports.
The reason for the question was simple: Teachers at two Chicago elementary schools boycotted the ISAT on the grounds that the test is unnecessary, as it is being replaced by another test next year and is no longer a factor in determining “student promotion, graduation, or enrollment in selective-enrollment schools,” CBS Chicago reports.
Hundreds of parents agreed with the teachers and opted their children out of the exam.
Regardless of the protests, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials still take the ISAT very seriously, largely because schools that don’t administer it could lose state funding.
CPS officials warned the rebellious teachers they’d face serious consequences for undercutting the district’s position on the issue, which is why the investigators were questioning students last week.
The investigators’ motives may have been defensible, but their techniques were not, if the Sun-Times account is to be believed.
According to the paper, parents were not given any notice that their children might be removed from class to be interviewed by investigators. That’s inexcusable and indefensible.