Teachers and Testing

Teachers Boycotting Tests

Voice of San Diego
January 28

San Diego Unified teachers are not alone in complaining about tests
imposed by their school district on top of those required by the state.
The Los Angeles teachers union is now calling for a boycott of local
assessments, according to the Los Angeles Times:

"The pig does not get fatter when you weigh it 10 times a day,"
(United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J.) Duffy said. "And if the
test scores do go up, isn't it phony? Because what you are doing is
teaching to the test, teaching a subject that has been narrowed down
radically. We're not creating smarter kids. We're creating smarter test

Duffy announced the boycott Tuesday at Emerson Middle School on
the Westside, where teachers said the district tests were too
burdensome on top of already mandated state and federal testing.

Former Superintendent David Brewer had pushed more schools to
use the assessments and the results are debated. A Times analysis
found that schools with higher participation in the district assessments
had better scores in English and algebra, but whether that means that
the district assessments are the cause is unclear:

Unraveling the apparent benefit can be complex, said retired district
official Roger Rasmussen, who long headed the district's analysis
unit. Schools that are able to perform the assessments correctly, he
said, may be those that have developed a cohesive staff, for example,
which may be the real driver of improvement.

The article also states that Los Angeles Unified estimates that the
tests cost between $3 million and $5 million annually; the teachers
union estimates their cost far higher at $150 million.
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