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Resolution to Support a PARCC Refusal

by ctu communications  |  04/07/2016

WHEREAS, last year, over 20,000 students opted out in Chicago and 40,000 opted out in Illinois leading to a debate about the legitimacy of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test (PARCC); and over 200,000 students opted out in New York State last year, leading many people in power to publicly question the overuse and misuse of high stakes standardized testing pushed by corporate education reform; and 

WHEREAS, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) represents 27,000 educators with first hand experience of PARCC; and

WHEREAS, the PARCC exam is not grounded in research-based educational practices and neither PARCC nor Pearson has provided needed validity information; and

WHEREAS, the CTU struck April 1st to demand more revenue for schools and the $160 million contract Pearson has with PARCC is wasted when we need smaller class sizes, more nurses, more social workers and more resources in our schools; and

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has not provided 100% foundation level funding since 2010 and is currently 50th out of  50th in education funding; and

WHEREAS, teachers have a right to freedom of speech and a duty to exercise and express professional judgment about the quality and educational value of the PARCC as an assessment; and

WHEREAS, CPS leaders, some network chiefs and school administrators are already pushing teachers to devote class time to PARCC test preparation, which narrows and distorts the curriculum for our students; and

WHEREAS, CPS has indicated that they intend to phase out NWEA and replace it with PARCC as one of the main metrics of the teacher evaluations and school performance ratings; and

WHEREAS, students who have refused PARCC have been illegally reoffered exams several times and coerced into taking PARCC after refusing; and 

WHEREAS, the new policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allow for better testing options; and

WHEREAS, students of color disparately have their schools closed as a result of testing, are evaluated negatively by testing and are far more likely to be bullied and punished for exercising their own agency around testing; and

WHEREAS, in May 2015, the HB306 Opt Out Bill, which would fully acknowledge parents’ rights to opt their children out of testing and would prohibit punishment of students who refuse state mandated testing, passed the Illinois House of Representatives and is awaiting passage by the Senate; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that this resolution will be shared publically; and be it further

RESOLVED, the CTU will encourage members to call their state senators and Senate President John Cullerton whose number is 217-782-2728; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU House of Delegates calls on and will fully support a parent and student boycott of PARCC via mass opt out/refusal; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU will fully support teachers exercising their freedom of speech when providing student and parents accurate information about PARCC and student refusal/opt out; and be it further

RESOLVED, the CTU House of Delegates calls on the CTU to create and distribute informational flyers explaining how and why families/students can refuse PARCC; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Chicago Teachers Union announces April 12 as a city-wide Opt Out Information Day, a day for delegates to bring back flyers to their schools and to lead teachers in a day of discussion and flyering with parents before and after school; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU will publicize decry and organize against the bullying and disparate treatment of all students, and especially students of color who exercise their own agency in refusing to take the PARCC test; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the CTU will push to eliminate PARCC because of the new guidelines under ESSA 

Chicago Teachers Union