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Teachers’ Unions Fight Standardized Testing: What about the Allies?

AFT, American Federation of Teachers, has more than 1,000,000 participants worldwide. There are professors teaching English, Arts, IT, Physics, and Business disciplines all united by one idea: the idea of perfect, modernized, fair educational community. Thus, their core goal for ages is to cancel standards and involve more creativity. However, not all governmental structures and parents support that view.

teacher-unionBut what are the reasons for teachers and profs to reject tests that were relevant for ages? We can get the advantages of students, but how can this be happening? The fact remains: official teachers’ associations support lobbying the usage of standardized tests (at least, limiting their significance and spread). Laso, they fight for restricting the time spent on those ‘useless’ stuff. Moreover, New Jersey Union has financed the advertising campaign ad meeting in favor of this bill.

Perhaps, it is somehow related to the protesters at the Capitol who criticize Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s desire to tie school funds to proposed changes in teacher evaluations. As far as teachers’ accreditation has to change, students’ evaluation should also be fixed. That is the point.

The promo video shows us a boy crying because of his exams. Psychologists believe such strict rules and double examination (standardized or graduate together with admission) are not worth of childish health, time, and nerves. The majority of parents began to support the campaign influenced by those telling about the difficulties their kids experience after test preparation and results. The president of the local state union at NY used it to urge parents to opt out of the annual tests. They began last week, and some of the parents followed this recommendation.

The problem is that teacher do not feel any power in the educational process. They feel the scoring system is unfair and too subjective to reflect the true knowledge of their students. There is no individual approach that will allow students involve more creativity. Some teachers think that children receive the grades they do not deserve and they are able to perform better results, but they are all tied by those silly rules and strict grading policy. No wonder teachers reassert themselves using a bread-and-butter issue: the annual tests given to elementary and middle school students in every state.

Since 2001, No Child Left Behind claims that annual test scores along with the prescribed measures for schools deemed failing are the only criteria to evaluate the general academic performance of a particular educational institution and teaching proficiency. So, the desired bill should decrease teachers’ liability by reducing the influence of standardized test system. After all, it’s not always the instructor’s guilt that some students are falling behind.

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From the other side, such claims appear without any concern for the children. The majority of teachers simply fears to fail their duties. It will lead to lower salaries or even layoffs. Identifying weak teachers is a useful process, but not everybody believes in its effectiveness and fairness. “It’s right at the point when we finally actually have the kind of improved tests that so many folks petitioned for and advocated for years,” said Jonah Edelman, the chief executive of Stand for Children, an advocacy group that supports charter schools and teacher evaluations that incorporate test scores. Mr. Edelman said that the organization supports legislation to reduce unnecessary testing, but “encouraging parents to opt out is not an effort to reduce overtesting.”Teachers

But what about the amount of time and wasted nerves students ‘kill’ on those tests? Are they really that useful in their entire life? I don’t think so. Moreover, because of the Common Core, the demands only go up for all students despite their abilities and social status. Disabled students and foreigners have almost no privileges. Republicans oppose Common Core while parents dislike the impact of the new rules towards their poor kids, so there are all chances to win that bill.

Karen E. Magee, the president of New York State United Teachers, has an alternative. Her union began agitating more vocally against testing after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, denouncing an evaluation system in which 96 percent of teachers received good ratings, proposed increasing the weight of test scores in teacher evaluations. The union argued that it was not fair to make test scores so significant a part of a teacher’s rating because many factors outside the classroom can influence scores.

The only question left as for today is whether teachers don’t have any impact on students today. Anyway, the only thing we know for sure is that hardly any kid will be against the bill which supports standardized test’s cancelation.