New York's youngest students need teaching and learning, not standardized testing.
Sign the Recess from Tests petition »
Bloomberg-style "drill-and-kill" standardized test prep has sadly become the norm for our students. Now he's taking his testing mania to a whole new level, insisting that our youngest students in grades pre-K to 2 complete bubble tests that are wholly inappropriate for their developmental levels.
Prekindergarten through second grade are vital years for developing students' cognitive thinking, building their educational foundation and instilling a love of learning in them. Filling in bubble tests will not accomplish any of these goals.
That's why we have joined with our state affiliate NYSUT and education advocacy groups across the state to urge the governor, the state Legislature and the State Education Department of New York to ban standardized testing in pre-K through second grade.
Sign our petition now »
Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership signed onto the Race to the Top application which required that teacher evaluations be tied to test scores, Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership helped to develop the APPR evaluation system that linked teacher evaluations to test scores and Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership concurred when Dick Iannuzzi and the NYSUT dropped a successful lawsuit against the Regents for expanding the testing component of the teacher evaluation law to 40%.
In short, few people in this state are more responsible for the testing problem than Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership.
In addition to a recess from the tests, we need a recess from such destructive and hypocritical union leadership.
Mulgrew's Recess from the Tests petition went to my junkmail where it belongs.
We don't need a recess from the tests.
We need to change the teacher evaluation law that requires all these tests in the first place.
Kill the law and there will be no reason to have the tests - they're only in place to grade the teachers.
This is because the great Randi never bothered to check the requirements for early education and signed onto CC because Gates told her to do so. Also notice how the email puts the blame on Bloomberg instead of Obama and their own stupidity.ReplyDelete
As you note, she does what Gates tells her to do. The AFT/UFT, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Gates Foundation.Delete
Mulgrew and Randi are agents for Bill Gates and the Koch Brothers. They do not act on behalf of the labor movement. It is as if they are double agents.ReplyDelete
Lots of Gates money in the UFT, AFT NYSUT and NEA coffers, that;s for sure.Delete
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Randi and Michael always go after the low hanging fruit. By going only after early childhood tests, they can make their less savy members believe they care and are doing something. At the same time, they are never going to fully attack the APPR system itself since they helpped to devise it, and they wouldn't want to piss off their great patron Mr. Gates.ReplyDelete
That's exactly right - low hanging fruit is what they're targeting. I want to take down the whole tree. And it will be taken down because there are tens of thousands of parents coming out and calling for it to be taken down.Delete
Mulgrew is a total joke. I always write responses to his emails and strangely, he never writes back. He sold us out and now everybody who never cared about union politics is finally aware of his BS.ReplyDelete
The empty gestures they make over the testing - they're responsible in large measure for the mess we're in. Union functionaries don't like to be called out on that. But I call it like I see it and when I got this email in my junkmail -(it really did go there), the first thing I thought was "How dare he? He created this mess and now he wants to point fingers elsewhere?'Delete
I appreciate you want you big dramatic gesture. But not signing onto onto this petition seems to me to defeat your purpose. As a teacher in an elementary school I proudly signed the petition. And wether or not you think it goes far enough at least it starts to make traction towards making change. We need to stop demanding grand gestures and instead focus on making the small changes that build into the overall changes. The change you want will only happen if we do it by chipping away and refining the systems.ReplyDelete
I disagree. If ever there was a time for grand demands, it is now. Parents all over the state are outraged over the Common Core standards, the tests, the evaluations that tie teacher ratings to tests (thus forcing so much more testing) and the data collection.Delete
The state ed dept., the DOE and the UFT have all said K-2 testing must stop. It will stop whether anybody signs this petition or not because in the end it is indefensible. So I'm not worried about that at all - the press has been brutal over it and King and Tisch know it. Plus de Blasio is set to take over and he wil lend this practice even if the current Tweedies didn't want to.
And the fact is, the testing is harmful for ALL students, not just K-2 students. The UFT leadership doesn't agree with this - they have signed onto APPR, RttT, ADVANCE. They're not interested in fighting all of the testing. I refuse to play along with their game - ALL the testing must stop, not just in K-2. This can be accomplished by taking out the evaluation law that mandates all this testing. And the ground is quite fertile for these changes - tens of thousands of parents are calling for these very changes at the Common Core town halls.
I do not know about you guys, but ever since I could remember I was tested in school. First, there were the IOWA tests. Second, there were the REGENTS exams. Third, there were the SAT exams. Each one had a significance, and they all assisted in my Doctoral degree. Yes, I forget all those Final exams in each discipline. That said, the very young ought not be tested, but they should be given educational capital, but when they are ready, they need to test and show their grit. How would you evaluate the generations? Maybe nice kids, maybe great athletes, or maybe diligent monitors could satisfy. There is a fear out there, and it is a fear of being observed ( HOW DARE THEY COME to MY ROOM). There is a fear out there, and it concerns a confidence issue. Thank you for your time. Dr. John Marvul.ReplyDelete
These are children we are talking about, not doctoral candidates. These children engage in test prep all throughout the day, taking formative assessments and interim assessments and summative assessments, all in preparation for the state tests and the local measure assessments. Dunno about you, but I see nothing productive in that at all. Tye only grit involved in that kind of system is the kind that gets in your eye and blinds you.Delete
I too am impatient but at least I do what my union asks me to do. I know that our major problem is a lack of solidarity. Can we keep it productive people? Can we direct our focus on the those that would eliminate our right to collective bargaining, our pensions, and our professional discretion. Seems to me that Mulgrew is passionately advocating whenever he can. The UFT just passed a motion to return the local measures back to teacher discretion. I don't hear you talking about that!ReplyDelete
Ah yes - blind fealty to the leadership. Sorry, you get no points for calling for solidarity when this union leadership has sold out the rank and file members again and again and again. In my school, once loyal UFT members now hold Mulgrew and the leadership in contempt. They have seen for themselves how the leadership has conspired with the administration to undercut teachers in my building, how the UFT leadership pays lip service to protecting teachers but does nothing when they are targeted by administration. The only thing Mulgrew does passionately is take care of himself and his cronies. I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of teachers in my school (over 100 teachers) feel this way.Delete
Gandhi Quote: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." We are close to winning. We thought "Occupy" was over but the rhetoric won the day for our next mayor. We choose our battles when we can win them and then we win more. Keep the faith and fight when you can.Delete
The tide is turning - you can see that not in what Mulgrew says or his merry men and women with the double pensions do, but in what parents across this state are doing. That to me really signals how the tide has turned.Delete
I am not prepared to lose our battles for the next three years by not cooperating with our union leadership. Reality reminds me of the congressional Republicans who will shoot themselves in the foot in order to spite the opposition.Delete
If you're not prepared to lose battles for the next three years, then don;t follow the UFT leadership blindly. They've lost nearly every battle in the ed deform wars since the beginning. They're calling for an end to the K-2 testing and inappropriate CCSS standards for K-2 (Weingarten in NY Times today.) The reality is, the testing in K-12 is insane and out of control and the CCSS standards are problematic for ALL grades. There is no reason to limit the fight to K-2 - Weingarten and the AFT, Mulgrew and the UFT, Iannuzzi and the NYSUT do NOT want to end the testing or the CCSS for the other grades. And why would they? They're getting all that yummy yummy Gates money to support it.Delete
I support you Reality!ReplyDelete
As for you Dr. Marvul, congrats on your PhD. I do not know what it is in, but you clearly do not know what you are talking about. At my last PD, teachers sat around tables struggling with ANet tests. Let me know when you want to take a field trip.
Exactly right - when some of thee people who support the tests in the ideal see what they look like, how much test prep goes into preparing students for them, or the shoddiness that goes into the grading, they change their tunes. If the good doctor would like to go on a field trip, I'd love for him to see the "norming" process for the ELA Regents exams. Maybe then he can say whether he really thinks the scores are a good and fair gauge of student or teacher performance.Delete
Even doctoral candidates start out as children. If you read what Dr. Marvul said carefully, his point was that some testing is necessary. Too much testing, for the wrong reasons, and of the wrong people (pre-K to 2nd graders) is inappropriate and destructive.ReplyDelete
It always saddens me when educators demonize one another. There are enough other people out there doing that to us. When you write about Randi Weingarten and Micheal Mulgrew being in cahoots with our enemies and giving away the store, you only prove two things. 1. You don't know either of them very well. 2. You think they control more than they do. As a national delegate, I can tell you that New York State has the SMALLEST percentage of testing as a part of a teacher's evaluation. Just about every other state has more than 50% in the form of standardized tests. It took a lot of work to reduce NYS's portion to 40%, half of which is local measures over which we have some say. The UFT leadership has worked tirelessly for over 50 years to get us this far. Nothing was handed to the union. There is still a formidable struggle ahead. In stead of attacking our generals, how about joining the battle and fighting against our enemies? Do you realize that we are the largest local of the last strong union in America? No one would be happier for division in our ranks than the Koch brothers and their ilk.ReplyDelete
Ah, the concern trolls from the union are here. It saddens you when educators demonize each other? Tell that to the teachers who have been abandoned by this union leadership as they cut deal after deal after deal with Cuomo and Bloomberg, given away seniority rights, tenure (yeah, APPR effectively gives away tenure - 2 ineffectives in a row and your gone), not only agreed to evaluations tied to test scores by signing on to the Race to the Top proposal but then bragged about how much better this system is than the old one. Go to individual schools, Mr. National Delegate, and you'll see how people feel about "only" having 40% of their evaluation tied to test scores. Ask them how they're enjoying being evaluated in all 22 competencies on the Danielson rubric as Mulgrew wanted. They'll tell you, Mr. National Delegate, that Weingarten is full of crap, Mulgrew is full of crap, and anybody else who comes around from the leadership or their cronies to sell the same message is full of crap. The membership was abandoned long ago by the leadership and with Danielson, APPR, and ADVANCE in full force these days, they know it. Nothing you or any of the other propaganda meisters say will convince anybody.ReplyDelete
"docwash" is a total Unity hack/shill. Beyond obvious.ReplyDelete
Yeah - he admits it by noting he's a national delegate. You only get to be a national delegate when you carry the Unity water bucket. No wonder his name is docwash.Delete
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