Two Chicago Public Schools are standing by their decision to refuse giving the Illinois Standards Achievement Test that's scheduled to begin Monday.
Drummond Elementary School joined Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy last week in boycotting the mandatory state test.
“This second boycott is evidence that more and more educators continue to take a principled stand against harmful tests and in support of their parents and students,” CTU VP Jesse Sharkey said in a statement. “The CTU supports these teachers and calls on the district to stop making threats to parents and educators who are trying to restore some sanity to the education system.”
Teachers argue it takes away hours of valuable classroom instructional time and that students in grades 3 to 8 are already exposed to too much standardized testing.
CPS argues the tests hold schools accountable for achievement progress and should be given as required by the state.
“The results of the ISAT also help parents and teachers across the state assess how well their students are meeting key benchmarks in core academic subjects and assists educators in tailoring instructional planning," CPS spokesman Joel Hood said. "Our children deserve every classroom resource and tool to ensure they graduate 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound."
On Monday afternoon, a group of parents and activists filed a complaint against CPS, demanding a policy change.
"Now my 10 year old is put in the very awkward position of having to refuse a test," parent Wendy Katten said. "As a parent, I believe I have the right to guide the education of my son. I don't need the Illinois State Board of Education telling me that I have no right to opt him out of a low-stakes ridiculous test."
The Chicago Teacher's Union is in agreement with the teachers and parents who don't want to administer the test.
"We think there is a lot of abuse of high stakes standardized testing right now," CTA vice president Jesse Sharkey said. "Look at the ISAT, which is in use to measure student progress or the performance of teachers, and the time is now to draw the line and say enough is enough."
On Friday, the school district sent letters to teachers warning their certification may be in jeopardy if they refuse to give the exam. Meanwhile, the State Department of Education sent CPS a letter saying that if schools don't comply, it puts government funding at risk as well.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also said Friday that teachers who don’t participate in the testing will be “walked out.”
The rules state that only parents can opt out of their kids taking the test.