Surprise: Chicago Teachers Union Comes Out Against Standardized Testing

Chicago Teachers Union head Karen Lewis. (Scott Olson/Getty Images).

The Chicago Teachers Union in a recent report urged administrators across the country to do away with standardized testing, saying the process is the product of pro-corporate agendas, The Daily Caller reports.

Corporate interests continue to push towards a test‐centered public education system that is clearly harmful to students,” the report reads.

The CTU also said standardized testing is a poor method for measuring a student’s proficiency in reading and arithmetic.

It would appear, as TheDC’s Robby Soave notes, that the CTU’s push to do away with standardized testing isn’t an isolated event. Indeed, it appears to be a part of a bigger trend.

“The union’s anti-testing push is part of a broader campaign by teachers unions nationwide. Teachers at one Seattle high school recently went on strike, refusing to administer a test that they feared would be used to hold them accountable,” he writes.

“Anti-testing efforts have also appeared in Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Oregon” he adds.

One reason, critics argue, teachers unions have increased their efforts to do away with standardized testing is because the drive to attach teacher pay to student achievement has picked up steam in more than a few states. Obviously, this poses a serious threat to those who have failed to teach their students basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. Removing standardized testing would make it more difficult to identify ineffective teachers, this protecting them from correction or removal.

“Opposition to standardized tests put teachers unions at odds with reformers on the left. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lost a merit pay battle with the CTU in September,” TheDC notes. “And President Obama has supported policies that reward states for evaluating teachers based on students’ test scores.”

Surprisingly enough, a number of students back the teachers unions in their crusade to do away with merit-based pay.

“In Portland, members of a group calling itself the Portland Student Union have urged fellow students to boycott the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills,” the report notes. “And in Seattle, many students have decided to stand in solidarity with teachers who refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress test.”

“We really think our teachers are making the right decision,” student body president at Seattle’s Garfield High School Obadiah Stephens-Terryin said a statement.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image Getty Images.

Other Must-Read Stories