Today a hardy group of parents and teachers stood out in Federal Plaza and proved that you can indeed blow bubbles in 20 degree weather!
We were there to send a strong message to President-elect Obama and Secretary of Education nominee Arne Duncan that overuse and misuse of standardized “bubble” tests is bad for our children, and we want change.
In fact, we want the same thing the Obamas want – a high-quality education for our children that is not focused on standardized “bubble” tests.
I shared information about the high-quality educational standards at the schools the Obamas have chosen for their children, University of Chicago Lab School and Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C. These schools avoid the kind of test-prep that is so prevalent in the Chicago Public Schools.
Parents want what the Obamas want for their children, and teachers want to teach that way.
Wade Tillett, a CPS teacher and parent, is planning to opt his third grade child out of the state tests this spring.
He was supported by Jim and Sue Gill, parents who have actually opted their children out of the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests for several years. Sue talked about the struggle they had with the school district last year over the issue. Ultimately the district changed their policy to accommodate parents who want to opt their children out.
Here’s the Oak Park district policy.
CPS teachers representing the Caucus of Rank and File Educators discussed their group’s opposition to the misuse and overuse of tests, including their use in closing schools under Renaissance 2010.
Thanks to all for all your hard work! This event was successful in creating an positive hook (the bubbles), getting pedestrians to read the flyer, hearing some supportive voices, linking people together around a shared issue, and appearing on the news (Ch. 7) with a succinct message. And we even stayed after the bubble machine froze up! Now let’s work towards spring, and warmer weather.
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