United Teachers of Los Angeles is urging teachers to boycott assessment tests that cause “the loss of valuable instruction time spent prepping students for the tests instead of teaching.” The tests were developed by the district to diagnose learning problems during the year.
Bad move, argues Fox & Hounds Daily.
In reality, the “periodic assessment” tests which UTLA finds so objectionable facilitate teaching the curriculum that these teachers are hired to instruct. The tests’ goal, as the Times has written, is “to give teachers insight into what students need to learn while there remains time in the current school year to adjust instruction.” A statistical analysis by the LAUSD has found that the assessments “contribute to higher student achievement.”
. . . The tests are designed to provide individualized data to the teachers, within 48 hours of having been administered, of what each student has mastered in English, language arts, math, science and social studies — core academic subjects. If teachers “prep” students for this test they are teaching the curriculum that it is their job to deliver, not teaching obscure skills that are only relevant to a test.
UTLA’s president never mentioned instructional time in a February letter to union members, writes Fox and Hounds. The letter said the boycott was about “everyone’s health care, class sizes” and that “jobs are on the line…now is the time for unity among members—not division.”
Jobs are on the line: Los Angeles Unified is about to issue layoff notices to 5,500 teachers. Principals would like to keep their best teachers, but the current laws make seniority the only criteria.
Via Ed Policy.