Massachusetts Teachers’ Union Passes Anti-PARCC Resolution

massachusetts-state-flagAFT-Massachusetts delegates passed the following resolution at their convention on May 2nd that was published yesterday on the union’s website:

WHEREAS: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam system is scheduled for review and a future implementation decision in the fall of 2015 regarding its use as a statewide assessment; and
The very data that is part of this review process is unclear or not fully known to at least the public whose children would be subject to PARCC exams if implemented; and

WHEREAS: Actual complete PARCC exams or discussions of those exams are not accessible to the public and teachers; and

WHEREAS: The PARCC exams, thus, can neither be assessed by the public and all educators for their fidelity to the state curriculum frameworks in the first place nor for their appropriateness as valid assessments to measure student performance; and

WHEREAS: Student performance on PARCC exams may influence students’ academic transcripts that impact their futures; and
Student performance on state assessments is or will be a component in teacher evaluations; and

WHEREAS: The implementation of PARCC exams requires massive infrastructure expenditures in technology with no financial plan to support these costs in an era in which school budgets are strained with accelerated, decreasing state aid; and
Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts’ Chair of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), is also the National Chair of the PARCC Governing Board, which is a significant conflict of interest that calls into question the integrity of PARCC use in Massachusetts; and

WHEREAS: The implementation of PARCC exams takes away from teaching time; and

WHEREAS: Massachusetts’ students are already sufficiently assessed by state mechanisms and, collectively, excel on related exams internationally,

WHEREAS: The delegates to the 47th Annual Convention of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts assembled here in Burlington strongly oppose the implementation of PARCC, be it therefore:

RESOLVED: That the AFT Massachusetts president send the result of this vote to the president of every local and every central labor council, and be it further:

RESOLVED: That a committee of the AFT Massachusetts be formed to bring locals together to organize against high stakes testing; and be it further:

RESOLVED: That the president of every local affiliated with the AFT Massachusetts will encourage the department heads to refrain from recommending ordering text books or teacher supplies or material from Pearsons Corporation; and be it further:

RESOLVED: That the president of every local affiliated with the AFT Massachusetts communicate the results of this vote to the superintendents and school committees in their districts and urge them to adopt the same position.

ADOPTED May 2, 2015.