As teachers, parents and students at the Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Chicago come together to boycott their Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT), Change the Stakes wholeheartedly supports their actions and encourages more schools to follow their lead. Their announcement yesterday reported that teachers voted unanimously not to administer the tests because they are a major intrusion on instruction, disrupting classes at elementary schools for two weeks and taking personnel away from education. Like Change the Stakes, More than a Score recognizes that standardized testing, whether low stakes or high stakes, narrows the curriculum, stifles creativity and undermines the efforts of teachers to develop engaged, curious lifelong learners.
Change the Stakes also salutes the Chicago Teacher’s Union for the the support they have expressed to their parents and teachers. With 300 opt out letters collected at Saucedo and hundreds more throughout the city, we are hopeful that this courageous act will inspire others in Chicago, New York and throughout the county to opt out of their state standardized tests this year and begin to reclaim the public education parents and teachers want and children deserve.