On 02 Jul 2000, [no author] wrote: >The pilot test is scheduled to be given to unsuspecting participants >in the mathematics summer content institutes...need to get work out to >participants not to take the test....besides the political >implications shows how little DOE knows about sample populations and >validity of test scores....spread the word. On 01 Jul 2000, [no author] wrote: >I for one will refuse to take any test mandated by this DOE. They are>>(with few exceptions) a cabal of angry >autocrats, conservative ideologues, and political hacks.
The Associated Press on July 1, 2000 carried this story at
BOSTON (AP) -- The state's two largest teachers unions filed a lawsuit>>in Suffolk Superior Court Friday to block the state Board of >Education>from implementing tests for math teachers.
The complaint is not unexpected. The two unions, the Massachusetts >Teachers Association and the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, >said in May that they intended to challenge the plan.
The suit alleges the testing plan is illegal because it conflicts with>>the state's 1993 Education Reform Act and collective bargaining laws, >>and discriminates against certain teachers. Neither MTA president Stephen E. Gorrie nor MFT president Kathy Kelly >could be reached for comment Friday.
The testing plan, proposed by Gov. Paul Cellucci and then adopted by >the state Board of Education, calls for testing of math teachers in >schools in which 30 percent or more students fail the math portion of>>the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS, exam. Cellucci has said that the diagnostic test will help the state improve>>the quality of instruction and help teachers improve their skills. He >>has said he plans to publicly identify teachers who fail and and>require local communities to pay for remedial training.
Districts would seek to improve failing teachers' skills with >"professional development plans," which could include remedial >training in weak areas.
State Education Commissioner David T. Driscoll, who is a former math >teacher, said the lawsuit was not unexpected.
"We are going to move ahead with our plans to pilot the test this >summer, and we are going to move ahead with implementing the test >until told otherwise," Driscoll said.
The teacher testing plan, unanimously supported by the state board, >will begin as a pilot program this summer, and by fall will be >implemented statewide, according to Department of Education>officials. >Marsha Cohen, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, said>they >received the complaint Friday afternoon and would respond after >reviewing the complaint.
John D'Auria, principal of Wellesley Middle School, called the teacher>>testing plan "a simplistic way of dealing with a complicated >problem.">"The qualities that go into a good teacher and a skillful teacher are >>not imbedded in the test, as far as I can see," D'Auria said. "I >don't>have much hope that they will lead to any real changes."
He said that he hoped that urban schools, which are likely to be hit >with most of the tests, will work together with affluent suburban >schools to halt the testing plan.
"From my perspective, I have lost confidence in the leadership of the >department of education, and we really need to take a stand," D'Auria>>said.