Currently, here is the list of states taking the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Test - Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia (which isn't a state, but makes the list look a bit longer), Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusettes, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island. (Source: http://www.parcconline.org/parcc-states)
As is common knowledge by now, there were more states that signed on to take the PARCC Test, but little by little as more came to be known about this test and the way concepts are being taught, etc. many states chaged their mind even though that meant losing the federal purse strings that were attached. As recently as this past week, Arkansas is setting up a task force led by Lt. Governor Tim Griffin to look at the Common Core Standards to decide if this is the route for them.
Last month CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett in conjunction with the school board said that only 66 CPS schools would take part in this test this year because so many schools were not prepared and ready for the technogy requirements to complete this exam. This decision was made "despite the potentional for sanctions that could include some loss of federal funding."
The federal goverment attached to the educational money tree is now threatening to cut the purse strings for Illinois if all CPS students do not take the test. It's being reported that no final decision has been made, but all CPS schools should be prepared to take the test. Meetings have been taking place behind closed doors, which I'm sure means a decision really has been made, they are just deciding how best to spin it for the public.
Karen Lewis spoke recently spoke at the City Club and told listeners that with the current Chicago Teacher's Union contract expiring this summer that the Union members are ready and willing to strike again if they don't get better working conditions.
All I can say is that the months ahead will be quite interesting.
Three years ago CTU members walked the picket line for one week. On the eighth day the strike was suspended and the Union called it a victory.
Let us remember some of the things that were won:
Working 45 minutes longer very day
Working 10 more school days every year
An evaluation system that is more complex than the reading of the Magna Carta
And of course a raise! A RAISE that amounts to about $1.00 more per day (and that's before taxes). Many teachers bring home less money now than they did three years ago.
If the Union decides to strike again, I wonder if they'll recall how much was won the last time around.
Lisa Madigan and her ilk are trying to argue that the government's so-called "emergency police powers — the ability to take action to ensure the functions of government — trump the protections of the pension clause". Wow! POLICE powers to overtake the pension clause of the Illinois Constitution in order to ensure the FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT! How about getting all the people out of government that keep spending (or delaying) the pension payments. How about getting all the people out of government that keep taking from the producers and giving to the parasites. How about we get people in goverment who actually keep their word, are honest, and can uphold the Constitution. Maybe then we can "ensure a functioning government"!
Click below for the full article of how that state is trying to undermine the Illinois Constitution and screw its hard-working citizens - those of us who have ALWAYS put in our pension contribution.