CHICAGO, Feb. 21, 2020—Chicago Teachers Union VP Stacy Davis Gates issued the following response to alleged concerns over standardized testing in Chicago Public Schools:
Testing culture is nothing but a racist tool used to marginalize Black and Brown children, close their schools and fire their Black teachers, and starve schools that remain in the community. It’s an unhealthy practice that takes valuable instructional time away from students, and relegates their teachers to being proctors and moderators, which they’re far overqualified for.
When you factor in SQRP, a punitive and superficial system for ranking schools that the district props up with the results of these biased ‘evaluations,’ you get situations like we have today where the blame is on teachers and students instead of a system that is failing them both. Conditions are hard enough in our schools without there being accusations of dishonesty over a too-long pause in an untimed test.
This is the type of mess that the mayor and her appointed school board vowed to clean up when she took office. Instead, they continue to funnel money to testing companies, and into a ‘testing investigation’ alleging wrongdoing, while living under the same culture of penalty we have been for the past two decades.
So for this, they’re going to hire more experts, strengthen policy and improve training without thinking twice, but we still can’t get a librarian in every school? It’s a joke, and at a certain point, enough is enough.