Friday, September 7, 2007
UFT Suppresses Report Critical of Test
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that testing is going on in here!"
- Captain Randi Renault*
I don't know nothin' 'bout testin' - Prissy Weingarten**
It takes me a lot of time to convince people that the UFT leadership are collaborationists with Bloomberg/Klein, Broad, Gates, NCLB, etc. because people listen to what Randi Weingarten says instead of watching what she does. Elizabeth Green in the NY Sun has further exploded the myth of the BloomKlein miracle on rising test scores. (Full article is also on Norm's Notes). The UFT had a smoking gun against the people who have hammered teachers into submission and chose not to use it.
Since this study was commissioned by the UFT and written in March, 2006, a year and a half ago and would still be suppressed if not for the efforts of Green, the following quote from Randi Weingarten is oh, so telling, especially in the light of our post on this very issue this past week.
"In an interview yesterday, Ms. Weingarten said she chose not to publicize the study out of concerns that doing so would make her appear "anti-test." She also said the study could not be considered comprehensive because her researchers are not psychometricians and lack access to some specific data about the test."
So nice to be ahead of the curve.
Randi Weingarten's lame excuse that she does not want to be looked at as anti-testing, the very issue her members have been screaming about for many years. The overwhelming majority of teachers have been dying to see the sham of the high scores exposed. All of us critics of NCLB and the other mumbo jumbo are not anti-test, but anti- high stakes test and also anti tests being used for political reasons. That the UFT did such a study is great, but not to use effectively politically makes it a waste. Maybe Randi was hoping it would show the tests were not easy so she could try to claim it was due to the efforts of teachers. Remember she said that when the 4th grade scores went up but what about the corollary when the 8th grade scores were bad. A careless and slippery slope she is on.
Even the above argument is simplistic. The UFT is the father and mother of the standards/testing/charter school movement and philosophically supports all the ills no matter what they say. when the 2nd UFT task force on testing issued what was a pretty good critique, that was just the end of it. No action top back it up. Just a way to deflect internal criticism that they were doing nothing. "See, we created a committee and issue a report. That was enough."
But when they held a smoking gun all along, they didn't use it or even discuss it with their own committee. There's the democratic process inaction for you.
Let me repeat a section of what I wrote on the Ed Notes blog earlier in the week (read the full post here).
"The UFT will never explode any testing myths because they want to play both sides against the middle, claiming high scores are due to teachers, not the other machinations that rank and file teachers know are going on.
When tests were being marked a few years ago during mid-winter break, calls and emails started coming in to our Ed Notes call-in center (based in my kitchen) that the rubric being passed down from the state ed dept was a total joke and supervisors were telling teachers to jump levels when they could. I sent around an email to my press list and immediately started getting responses from reporters.
Even the NY Times called, the reporter wanting me to give names. I suggested a visit to a testing center to interview people and the reporter was shocked. To his credit, former NY Post reporter Dave Andreatta was ready to come out to Rockaway but teachers involved seemed to be getting cold feet over possible repercussions.
Calls started coming into UFT HQ to such an extent, Randi Weingarten went over to the Region 8 marking center to check it out. Naturally, she found nothing wrong and the UFT PR machine's response killed the activity.
The UFT covering up for BloomKlein and the state ed dept? How shocking!
For today's youts with no movie memory:
* Claude Rains upon finding out there's gambling going on at Humphrey Bogart's Rick's in "Casablanca."
** Butterfly McQueen's Prissy in "Gone with the Wind"