NEA: We Support Test Opt-Out, Oppose Common-Core Tests for Teacher Evaluations
By guest blogger Stephen Sawchuk. Originally posted in Teacher Beat.
I truly sympathize the layman trying to make sense of the National Education Associaton's positioning on the opt-out movement.
At this year's convention, delegates voted down NBI 5, which would have supported the opt-out movement and concomitant legislation. Then, a hundred-odd NBI items later, they approved one, NBI 115, that will require the union to support opt-out and test refusal through the union's current infrastructure.
Talk about confusing. It's possible that this is just the result of bad floor strategy by states resulting in contradictory outcomes, or possibly worries about expenses. But it's pretty weird for the uninitiated.
In all, most of the union's anti-test proposals were approved; check this item out for details on all of them.
Of them, at least one item of significant note did pass. That initiative marks the union's strongest statement so far against the tests designed to measure common-core skills crafted by the Smarter Balanced group and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. It directs the union to campaign to end those tests as long as they're used for teacher evaluation and school ratings.
Remember, though, that these are just business items. They direct the union to do something for a year. But they aren't resolutions or longstanding declarations of belief.