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CTU members in CPS district-run schools have the opportunity to recover instructional time by eliminating excessive tests at their school.

An opportunity for change

Standardized testing has been cancelled this spring because of Covid-19. Now is the time to push for cancellation of these tests, period. We do not need weeks and weeks of standardized testing at every level to rank, sort and label our students and their schools and to add stress to the already stressed lives of our students and educators. Instead, let teachers teach and assess in ways that give us the feedback we need to guide and help our students learn and grow. The Covid-19 crisis has made it clearer than ever that we have no need for high stakes standardized tests. We need assessment that gives educators the necessary feedback on student learning, to adjust their instruction and other work, period.

Detailed Guidance
CTU Assessment Vote FAQ

Key Vote Dates for June 2020

  • Now until 6/3/20: Principals prepare draft plans in consultation with PPC and teachers
  • 6/3/20: Deadline for principals to send draft schedule to the teachers for review prior to vote.
  • 6/10: Deadline for teachers to vote on proposed plans
  • 6/10 – 6/18: Schools whose plans pass submit the SY21 assessment implementation survey; schools whose plans do not pass work with Chiefs and/or Assessment team to conduct virtual meeting with staff to devise an alternative plan and then submit SY21 assessment implementation survey.  If an alternative assessment plan cannot be agreed upon, either side may submit the issue to strategic bargaining for resolution.


The Grievance Department will hold the following workshops to help with these votes.

5:00PM Tuesday, June 2 Zoom Workshop
5:00PM Thursday, June 4 Zoom Workshop
5:00PM Friday, June 5 Zoom Workshop


On the dates below, the Chicago Teachers Union will train delegates, PPC members and any interested CTU member in how to consult and to conduct votes around the Assessment Plan Vote. Walk-ins are welcome!

All trainings 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the
CTU Center • 1901 W. Carroll Ave.

  • Wednesday, May 8
  • Tuesday, May 14
  • Wednesday, May 15
  • Monday, May 20
  • Thursday, May 23

Standard Procedures

CTU members now have an established procedure to implement our contract Article 44-32, which limits excessive standardized testing in our schools. At every school, our members can vote on their school’s assessment plan for 2019-2020 school year. Download our updated April 2019 ‘Know Your Rights’ flyer – including our proposed new contract language to strengthen our rights further – at this link.

What tests do I have to give?

Under contract article 44-32, CPS can only require tests that are mandated by state or federal law, REACH tests, and tests required for particular programs (e.g., IB). Mandated tests include PARCC, NWEA Spring, REACH Performance Tasks, KIDS, SAT (grade 11), NAEP, Illinois Science Assessment, ACCESS for English Language Learners, Dynamic Learning Maps Alternative Assessment, and IB Assessments.

Which tests are NOT required?

TRC/DIBELS, mCLASS Math, NWEA MAP for Primary Grades (MPG), Progress Monitoring, five-week assessments, Measuring Up Live, Fountas & Pinnell, Compass, ANet, Fall & Winter NWEA, PSAT 8/9 and PSAT 10 do not fit into any of those mandated categories.

PPC and Principal Must Consult

This spring, the principal must consult with the PPC and faculty to prepare an assessment plan for next school year. The Delegate and PPC should make sure that the plan is discussed by the faculty, including in grade levels/bands, subject areas, and special education. The principal must consult with the PPC and faculty to prepare an assessment plan on or before May 10, 2019.

We highly recommend you convene a union meeting immediately to discuss, as a staff, your preferences, to maximize unity and influence over the school assessment plan and vote.

Adoption of the plan shall be by majority vote.

The week of June 3–10, 2020, teachers and the principal vote, using fair voting procedures, which are agreed upon by the PPC and the principal.

If the PPC is unanimous, they can authorize a particular grade/subject area or sub-group to conduct a simultaneous supplemental vote on assessments applicable only to that group.

If the recommended plan fails to win a majority, the principal and network may offer an alternative assessment plan. We strongly recommend that your PPC and faculty firmly represent the staff’s preference at this stage.

If no plan is approved, the plan can be submitted to strategic bargaining, the monthly meetings held between CTU and the CPS Labor Relations Department.

Send CTU Your School’s Info

Send your completed vote totals/forms to AssessmentVote@ctulocal1.org so CTU can back up your vote.

A Victory Against Over-testing

We view the new procedure and CPS draft assessment calendar as a victory, in that the vast majority of tests that educators have been forced to administer are not mandatory, and we have the right to vote them down, if we deem it educationally appropriate.

Key Resources

Presentations on Implementing Testing Contract Language

  • Elementary Assessment Vote Conversations (Slides Presentation)
    This presentation created by Paula Barajas goes over the conversations that members need to have in deciding on assessments for next year.
  • Download the “Testing in CPS” PowerPoint
    Our contract has strong language to limit over-testing. This PowerPoint presentation “Testing in CPS” is an overview of the types of tests that exist in CPS, which can be mandated, cost and ramifications. It was created in the fall of 2017 when schools first voted on assessment.

Find Your Field Representative

Just as knowledge must be shared, your voice must be shared. Take action. Join a committee, represent your school community.

Current Contract

Your contract defines your rights and responsibilities as agreed by the Board of Education or by charter school operator. Study the contract and you will have the knowledge to defend your rights. Union staff will help you enforce them.

CTU Speaks! Podcast

Our podcast, CTU Speaks! is hosted by Andrea Parker and Jim Staros. We’ll chat about our union, enforcing our contract, and our fight for the schools our students and educators deserve.

Listen Now!