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The new Contract language on testing, Article 44-32, specifies that any additional assessments beyond those mandated by the federal or state government or required for REACH purposes must be discussed and then voted on by the teachers and principal. In the future, such planning should take place in the spring of the preceding year, but since that did not happen… the time is now!

We recommend that your Professional Problems Committee (PPC) meet ASAP to discuss whether tests (like Dibels, TRC, MClass Math, etc.) should be administered (see information below for all non-mandated tests). Bring this up as an item on your PPC agenda with the principal. The teachers and principal should vote by secret ballot on whether to administer these additional assessments. This vote then is included in the school’s CIWP (formerly SIPAA).

PPCs or delegates who have not heard from their principal on this matter should reach out to them to initiate the process. If you have questions, call your field rep.

New Testing Contract Language 2018-19

In our new contract, we won strong language to limit over-testing. This PowerPoint presentation "Testing in CPS" is an overview of the types of tests that exist in CPS, which can be mandated, cost and ramifications.

Download the "Testing in CPS" PowerPoint. 

The following FAQ is intended to help clarify the new language.

Download a PDF version to print and distribute.

What tests do I have to give?

Under the contract, CPS can only require tests that are mandated by state or federal law, REACH tests, and tests required for particular programs (e.g., IB). This includes PARCC, NWEA Spring, REACH Performance Tasks, KIDS, SAT (grade 11), NAEP, Illinois Science Assessment, ACCESS for English Language Learners, Dynamic Learning Maps Alternative Assessment, and IB Assessments.

Which tests are NOT required?

The TRC/DIBELS, mCLASS Math, and NWEA MAP for Primary Grades (MPG) tests, PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 do not fit into any of those categories, but CPS erroneously listed them as required tests in the CPS Assessment calendar (see CPS has told us that they will clarify this to principals.

What does this mean at my school?

If you and your coworkers do not wish to give non-required tests, you should have a PPC discussion with your principal to remind her of this new contract language.  Please contact and your field representative if, in spite of PPC discussion, you believe the testing schedule at your school violates the contract.

What is the process for setting my school’s testing schedule?

The 2015-2019 contract provides that your faculty and principal may elect to administer additional non-mandated tests by making an assessment plan in the spring [See 44-32.2 on the back of this sheet for additional details.]  Also, each school is required to make a school testing calendar available to parents for the school year by Sept 30, 2017, according to the Transparency in Testing law which was signed into law in June, 2016.

Current contract language regarding assessments

Article 44-32. Assessments

[see pages 184-185 in the Contract]

44.32.1 Required Assessments.

No later than June 30th of each year (or as soon as practicable after ISBE has published the state assessment calendar), the Board shall publish an assessment calendar for the subsequent school year, which shall consist of assessments mandated by the district for REACH, required to meet the mandates of state or federal laws and regulations, and mandated by a program (i.e., IB or any program that requires a test for student credit or program accreditation).

44.32.2 Additional Assessments.

Schools shall determine assessments to be administered in conjunction with the development of the School Improvement Plan for Advancing Academic Achievement (SIPAA) which is currently known as the Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP). Each year in the spring, Teachers and the Principal will collaborate to develop a recommended plan for additional assessments, if any, per grade band or content area/department. Prior to voting, the CEO or designee, may review and revise the proposed assessment plan, which shall be presented to and discussed with the school faculty. Teachers and the principal will then vote on the adoption of the plan, which shall be adopted by majority vote. If the plan is not adopted, and the faculty and/or the CEO or designee cannot agree on an alternative plan, the Union or the CEO or designee may submit the matter for resolution at strategic bargaining. The assessment decision will be included in the school’s PD plan and reviewed by the district.

44.32.3 Submission of concerns.

The District shall provide a way that staff can submit any issues and/or concerns (e.g. dedicated assessment email box) to Central Office in a confidential manner. CPS and CTU will meet quarterly to review their concerns and/or issues that are submitted.

Chicago Teachers Union