Target: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union
Goal: Urge the Chicago Teachers Union to boycott standardized testing
Recently, teachers in Seattle took a stand against the harmful and reductive practice of measuring the success of students by their performance on standardized tests. Ever since these high school teachers took a stand against mandatory testing, support has poured out from teachers’ groups all over the nation. Now, Chicago may become the next city to boycott standardized tests. Urge the Chicago Teachers Union to stand up for change in the education system.
Tests such as the one known as Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) don’t just fail to accurately record the academic prowess of each student. They also prevent teachers from effectively doing their jobs. According to teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, the MAP test “subtracts many hours of class time from students’ schedules each year,” distracting from real education in favor of “teaching to the test”. As the test requires a computer to take, preparation and test-taking also clog up computer labs and bandwidth for a total of ten weeks every year. Such tests demand an inefficient use of valuable resources in high schools.
The president of the Chicago Teachers Union has stated her support for a boycott on standardized tests, predicting that “we are likely to start seeing a more active anti-testing movement in Chicago.” However, no official campaign plans have been announced. Urge the CTU to come forth with a plan for boycotting standardized tests in schools across Chicago.
Dear Ms. Lewis,
As you know, standardized testing is no way to measure the potential of a child. Such tests hog classroom resources and drain the valuable time of skilled teachers. Yet every year, thousands and thousands of children are subjected to inefficient tests that do little to enhance their learning.
You have already expressed your support for a movement against Measures of Academic Progress and similar tests. Now it’s time for action. Join those teachers in Seattle who have stood up to the broken academic system. Encourage members of the Chicago Teachers Union to refuse to administer standardized tests to their classes. After all, the students of Chicago deserve better.
[Your Name Here]