District introduces bi-weekly testing policy to CPS


Kat Swift

Julie Sellers, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, discussing the testing at the Nov. 22 school board meeting, which is currently available on youtube. The meeting was filled with people who were expressing their disapproval of the new policy. “Teachers must be treated as the professionals they are and be able to create their own formative assessments that will inform their instruction” Sellers said.

A new policy that teachers must administer bi-weekly assessments in core subjects has been implemented within Cincinnati Public Schools. The policy was created to combat the loss of instructional time, but there is much backlash from teachers and parents alike that the assessments only add to the issue. 

“A math teacher crunched the numbers and these added tests will take up to 19% of their total precious instructional time just to make sure teachers are doing their jobs. This is a slap in the face and is unfair to our district’s children and their parents who entrust us with their children’s education and it’s also by the way great way to ensure that they won’t be grade level ready,” Michelle Dillingham, an organizer for the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (CFT), said at a board meeting on Nov. 15. 

There are conflicting reports on how much class time the testing will take up as

CPS administration has said that the assessment will only take up 2% to 10%.

 In response to the mandate, CFT has stated in an open letter to the public on Facebook that teachers are “rejecting these tests and are choosing to instead provide students with meaningful learning experiences with their peers after 18 months of pandemic disruption.”

According to CFT, these refusals to administer the tests have been met with threats of job termination. 

“So far, [the action taken against teachers] has been some sort of intimidation…but then it kind of escalated with a directive that principals could do a series of discipline that ends in termination. And this directive is a violation of our union agreement, because in the Union agreement there is a very specific section on discipline…So you can’t arbitrarily fire somebody…The discipline process, as it relates to the two week assessment, is a violation of the due process,” Dillingham said. 

The conversation around the assessment process is still ongoing and new changes will continue to be made as more information comes to light.