LAUSD gives 11 standardized tests that are not mandated by the state or federal governments. This is in addition to 10 standardized tests that are mandated by the state or federal governments. This has led to 3rd and 4th graders taking up to 16 standardized tests, 5th graders taking up to 18 standardized tests, and 8th graders taking up to 17. Quality of education is affected, there is a dramatic loss of instructional time, there are serious equity issues, and our professional judgment is disrespected.
LAUSD is out of step nationally. President Obama has stated that his administration has over-emphasized standardized testing and it needs to be cut back. The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED), including 115 university-based researchers from California alone, released a report in February 2016 critical of the over-emphasis on standardized testing. Over 1,800 UTLA educators from 90 elementary schools signed forms and gave them to their principals, stating that one-on-one testing dramatically affects instructional time, and that they are requesting adult assistance during that testing in order to continue instruction.
Tips to Organize Around Standardized Testing
- Arrange a time ASAP for as many educators as possible to meet directly with your principal to go over the flyer on the reverse side with her/him, informing her/him of the action and asking for her/his support.
- Make copies of the bilingual flyer on testing, and hold small group meetings with parents to explain the action and build alliances around the issue going forward.
- Regularly check the UTLA website for updates on this issue.
- If you or a colleague are directed to administer SBAC interim assessments or to administer DIBELS to all students regardless of your professional judgment:
- Ask for the directive in writing;
- If the directive is given in writing, comply with the directive. Immediately get the written directive to your UTLA area representative;
- Contact your UTLA area representative immediately in order to get support in organizing a response. Involve your chapter in all organizing around a response.