Sunday, March 15, 2009

Periodic Assessment Boycott by LA Teacher Union

I don't have to tell you boys and girls teaching in NYC, how things might be if we didn't have a collaborationist union in the UFT. Read below abot the LA Teachers union and weep.

Click http://www.utla.net/pab for more info on this struggle being waged by LA teachers.

Periodic Assessment Boycott

STARTING JANUARY 27th!

Don't turn in the tests!

Assessment should be between you and your students, not you and the bureaucracy!

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On January 27, we launched a boycott of periodic assessments.

UTLA is calling for a complete boycott of all periodic assessments, Open Court Assessments, and any other district mandated tests that are NOT required by State or Federal law, or that aren't needed to determine appropriate placement for a student, such as CELDT tests. We are boycotting the submission of the test data to the District.

LET US KNOW
If you, or somebody you know at your school, is written up, let us know. Fill out the "Written-Up" form, or call 213-637-5147.

BOYCOTT IDEAS
If you have some successful organizing ideas, send us your boycott organizing ideas and we'll soon post them on the UTLA site for other members to see.


Actions to Take
Additional Information

LET US KNOW
If you, or somebody you know at your school, is written up, let us know. Fill out the "Written-Up" form, or call 213-637-5147.

BOYCOTT IDEAS
If you have some successful organizing ideas, send us your boycott organizing ideas and we'll soon post them on the UTLA site for other members to see.

  1. Assessment Research
  2. United Teacher articles by Julie Washington and Janet Davis (page 13)
  3. Bargaining Flash: "Why I'm joining the protests"
  4. "Strength in Numbers" letter to members (2 pages)
  5. Explanatory letter from members to parents
  6. Explanatory letter from members to parents (in Spanish)
  7. Response letter from members to administrators (2 pages)
  8. California Education Code 60602 & flyer (2 pages)
  9. UTLA legal letter to LAUSD (2 pages)
  10. UTLA response to Superintendent Cortines' letter
  11. Q&A about Periodic Assessment Boycott (2 pages)
  12. Q&A about "Letters of Reprisals"
  13. Initial flyer
  14. Press Conference Media Coverage



We are taking this action for many reasons

1) We cannot waste money in a time of budget crisis
• The District is spending millions on periodic assessments while at the same time threatening to lay off teachers, increase class sizes, and cut important programs.
• LAUSD is facing a severe budget crisis. We can no longer afford to let LAUSD spend valuable resources on extra tests that don't help our students learn.
• The cost for the tests could be as high as $150 million a year when packaging, distribution, and personnel time are factored in, not to mention the loss of weeks of valuable instructional time spent prepping students for the tests instead of teaching. That's money that could go to other things, such as stopping teacher layoffs, that have a much bigger impact on student achievement.

2) These tests aren't useful and they waste valuable instructional time
• GIVE CONCRETE EXAMPLES: "Right now, middle school students are losing two weeks of English instruction to testing."
• Teachers teach, not tests. We don't need superfluous District-mandated tests to know whether the students we work with every day are learning
• Most teachers feel that the periodic assessments-which are mostly composed of multiple choice questions-produce useless "junk data" while taking away valuable time from teaching and learning.

3) Students will benefit from the extra instructional time
• The boycotts will not hurt student learning. Teachers will still be giving out multiple tests, class assignments, and homework, along with regular report cards.
• These tests are NOT required by state law. State law requires that District ensure that diagnostic assessment takes place, and the normal work of teachers in evaluating their student's progress meets the law's requirements.
• Every teacher has access to Teacher Guides that provide assessments at no cost.
• The state and federal governments have rigorous standards and testing requirements in place for our students. The tests we are boycotting are not part of these state or federal requirements.

4) How can I participate in this action?
UTLA recognizes and respects that some teachers may find some parts of the periodic assessments useful in helping them understand what their students are learning. It is up to teachers and individual departments to decide upon whether to administer the tests. If you choose to administer all or part of the tests, you can still participate in the boycott by refusing to turn that data in to the District.. Our battle is with the bureaucracy, not with each other. Don't feed the bureaucracy by turning in your results!

Send the Bureaucrats a Message:
Excessive Testing Hurts Our Kids and Our Classrooms!

Related: LA teachers sit in over layoffs

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