From the Diane Ravitch blog we learn that the Rochester Teachers Association has passed an anti-high stakes testing resolution. Look at this resolved clause which is quite strong:
RESOLVED, that the Rochester Teachers Association declares its opposition to the use of state-or federal-mandated standardized tests for the purposes of making grade promotion, graduation, or other high-stakes decisions regarding students or teachers.
Or how about these clauses:
RESOLVED, that the RTA supports the rights of parents and guardians to choose to absent their children from any or all state-or federal-mandated testing, and supports the rights of teachers to discuss freely with parents and guardians their rights and responsibilities with respect to such testing, all without any negative consequences from RCSD, and
RESOLVED, that the RTA will, to the best of its ability, support and protect members and others who may suffer any negative consequences as a result of speaking about their views of such testing or about the rights and obligations of parents and guardians with respect to such testing,
This resolution was passed unanimously on Monday.
Compare it to the lame UFT resolution on testing the Executive Board passed earlier this month. Our union in NYC favors high stakes testing. This is clear.
Meanwhile, the public is on our side as latest Quinnipiac poll shows 55% back teacher unions compared to 28% for Governor Andrew Cuomo on who can best improve schools. That's two to one for our side. Cuomo's disapproval numbers on schools are up to a whopping 63%. His overall approval rating is down to 50%.
Will this make a difference in negotiations over his unpopular education reforms? The needle will be moved a little in our direction but stay with Perdido Street School for continuous coverage of politics in Albany. Perdido shows Cuomo and new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie hugging yesterday after their new ethics reform deal. Perdido is prognosticating a deal on education with parts we will not like even with the people on our side.
I also expect teachers will lose something in negotiations on education reform but maybe not as much as we would have lost a couple of months back.
However, if we had a real militant pushback, we might not be giving in on anything.