Posts Tagged ‘standardized testing’

Great WBEZ story on parents resisting testing in Chicago

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Reporter Becky Vevea put together a great story about Chicago parents anger over the excessive testing that’s going on in our schools these days. The written report is here but please take the time to listen to the audio, which is longer but less than 5 minutes total and includes yours truly’s dulcet tones.

The parent pressure isn’t letting up, either. Raise Your Hand is holding a testing forum this Thursday at 7 pm at Holstein Park, 2200 N Oakley. Details here.

RYH forum Nov. 29th – Assessing the Assessments

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

A forum for community members to discuss the

CULTURE OF TESTING in our schools

What are all these tests? How do we best measure achievement?

ACCESS… Dibels … REACH… NWEA–Map. CCQ… ISAT… Explore… PLAN… mCLass… Compass


When: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where: Holstein Park, 2nd floor Auditorium (elevator available)

2200 N. Oakley, Chicago

Time: 7pm – 9 pm

Forum panelists include: teachers who currently administer tests, and

Dr. Noah Sobe, Prof. Noah W. Sobe is Associate Professor of Cultural and EducationalPolicy Studies at Loyola University Chicago where he also directs the Center for Comparative Education.  Prof. Sobe researches the history of education and the relationship between globalization and schools and serves on the Boards of Directors of several scholarly societies He presents findings at academic conferences around the globe.  Prof. Sobe is the parent of two daughters currently attending CPS and a member of a group of education researchers called CReATE (Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates of Transformative Education). He is a co-author of CReATE’s research brief on high stakes standardized testing.

 For more information:

Testing resistance resources

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Parents – Here’s how to resist the attack of too much testing!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Alderman Matthew O'Shea introduces Monty Neill at St. Xavier forum November 2, 2012.

Parents in Chicago and around the nation are sick of all the tests that our children face in school these days. Teachers are fed up, too. They tell us that there are so many tests now that they just don’t have enough time to teach.

Anti-testing fever heated up even more during the CTU strike, when the issue of excessive and unfair testing and test-based “accountability” was forcefully and effectively raised by marchers and their picket signs. Now parents all over the city have been getting together to talk about the problem and make plans for what we can do together to fight this growing attack on our children’s education.

I spoke at a meeting with parents from Drummond Montessori school about testing on October 4. On Nov. 2, FairTest’s  Monty Neill was in town at the invitation of St Xavier University and 19th Ward Parents for another forum. In the afternoon before the forum Monty and I met with CTU officials and later a good-sized group of people from various organizations around the city to begin to coordinate a citywide strategy for resisting the onslaught of tests. Raise Your Hand is planning another testing forum on November 29. (Don’t miss this excellent essay on the problems with testing by RYH’s Wendy Kattan.)

I’ll share notes from those meetings in a later post. For now, here are some of the resources that Monty and I distributed at these meetings. Feel free to print and share or share electronically.

Great news! State says deceased students can opt out of testing!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

I have been doing some research on testing in Illinois and Chicago in preparation for the strategy session and forum on Friday, and came across this chart from the Illinois State Board of Education which lists “reasons for not testing.”

And you’ll be glad to know that among the reasons is the following:

Deceased: Student was deceased prior to the start of the time of testing or died during the time of testing and had not started testing.

Wonder what the policy is if the student died while taking a test?

Anyway, other reasons for not testing include:

In Jail/Locked Facility: Student was in jail or in a locked facility during the time of testing (their explanation, not mine).

Medically exempt: Student (a) was hospitalized because of medical emergencies or procedures (e.g. because of a motor vehicle or other type of accident, surgery, psychiatric emergency) during the time of testing or (b) was participating in residential programs that provide psychological treatment or treatment for drug or alcohol abuse during the time of testing.

They don’t specify if the treatment was needed due to excessive testing.

But the exemption that really caught my eye as I look into helping parents opt out of testing is this:

Refusal: Student present but refused to participate in testing.

Works for me, and no one has to die.


Citywide testing resistance strategy session Nov 2

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

When FairTest’s Monty Neill comes to town on Friday, Nov 2, for a public forum on testing issues at 7 pm at St Xavier University, he has also agreed to help lead an afternoon citywide strategy session on anti-testing resistance – how we can work across groups, unite behind some common messages, share resources and otherwise build a strong testing resistance in Chicago.

The session will be from 2 to 4 pm on Friday Nov 2nd at the CTU office, 4th floor in the Merchandise Mart.

We realize that this timing will make it difficult or impossible for teachers to attend, but Monty will be meeting separately with the CTU as well. We are hoping that leaders and organizers for parents, education advocacy and community groups and others who would like to become more active around and learn more about testing issues will attend.

We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with leader of the the nation’s anti-testing movement. (The qr code above will take you to the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing, which Monty spearheaded, with input from PURE, Parents Across America, and others and which you and your group should endorse if you haven’t already!).

Please let me know if you intend to attend or if you have questions:


Testing resistance heating up in Chicago

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

FairTest’s Monty Neill, the undisputed leader of the national testing resistance movement, will be in Chicago on Friday, November 2, for a citywide strategy session on fighting Chicago’s standardized testing insanity, and a public forum on testing issues at 7 pm at St. Xavier University.

Anti-testing fever has been heating up ever since the CTU strike, where the issue of excessive and unfair testing and test-based “accountability” as forcefully and effectively raised by marchers and their picket signs.

I spoke at a forum last week organized by CPS parents from Drummond Montessori School who are interested in opting their children out of testing. I will be sharing some of the same information as part of the panel for the Nov. 2nd forum,

If you are interested in joining the citywide testing resistance strategy session, please contact me. And we urge everyone to come out to hear the amazing Monty Neill on Nov. 2:

Over Testing Forum
Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 pm
Butler Room,  St. Xavier University – 3700 W. 103rd St.

Sponsored by St. Xavier University, 19th Ward Parents, and PURE.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.