Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Test Fixation in Chicago

For Release: 

Monday, March 3, 2014


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

WASHINGTON—Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the overtesting of students in Chicago. Teachers at two Chicago schools—Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy and Thomas Drummond Elementary School—have voted to join a parent-led boycott of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.

"Parents at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy and Thomas Drummond Elementary School are understandably frustrated by the fact that the Illinois Standards Achievement Test is unnecessary and irrelevant. The test is being administered only to fulfill a No Child Left Behind requirement, while more than half of states have sought waivers from such requirements. The test won't inform instruction or assess student or teacher performance. It is not relevant to the current curriculum. It's a meaningless hoop to jump through that benefits no one. So, why subject kids to it?

"Courageous teachers have voted to join the parent-led boycott of this test, and the AFT stands with the parents, students and teachers at these schools and across Chicago. Our nation's fixation on testing is harming students. Overtesting diverts time and resources from teaching and learning. It narrows curriculum and deprives our students of art and music. And, perhaps most important, it does not improve student achievement."

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.