Some CPS parents, teachers support ISAT boycott

Standardized testing began Monday at Chicago-area schools, but teachers at two Chicago schools were threatening to boycott and now may face possible disciplinary action.
March 3, 2014 3:56:48 PM PST
Standardized testing begins Monday at some Chicago-area schools, but teachers at two Chicago schools were threatening to boycott now face possible disciplinary action.

A group of teachers at Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little village is refusing to administer the Illinois Standards Achievement Test because they say students are being over-tested and this exam is of little consequence.

Supporters spent Monday morning handing out fliers to parents dropping students off, explaining the ISAT is being phased out and results are not used for promotion, graduation or rating teachers or schools. Teachers could face disciplinary action if they carry out the boycott or are found encouraging students to opt out of the test - that includes having their certifications revoked by the state board.

"I'm doing this for my children. I'm doing this for all the men and women that are beginning to start education. I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for everybody," said Sonia Flores, teacher.

"As a parent, I'll support the teacher. They're the ones there every day with the kids, not the board of ed, not the politicians. So, me as a parent, I support the teachers," said Omar Diaz, parent.

Technically, the ISAT is still required by the state and it's used to determine compliance with the No Child Left Behind Law. CPS spokesman Joel Hood said the CPS is administering the ISAT to students in accordance with State and Federal law and said the Board of Education requires school districts to distribute the exam to all students in grades 3-8 and to give them the opportunity to participate.

Officials say CPS is working closely with the State Board of Education receiving guidance from the board on how to handle the teachers who may decide to refuse to give out the ISAT to students.

''The District is working with principals and teachers to ensure that students who are taking the ISAT are able to do so in a quiet environment that is free from distraction,'' Hood said.

Officials are declining to offer any specifics on what kind of disciplinary action that might entail.