This just in from organizers of protest demonstration in D.C. from April 4-7:

Campaign to Withdraw from Assessment Consortia

The Common Core was a clever plan hatched by the corporate sponsors of ACHIEVE to ensure that national standards based tests, now being completed by the federally financed PARCC and SBAC consortia, would be cemented in place for years to come. States were pressured to sign on with one of the consortia before the tests were even developed. State education officials still don’t know exactly what the PARCC or SBAC assessments will look like, though plans call for computer based testing 4 times a year with results tied to teacher evaluation. The PARCC and SBACC tests will be rolled out in full-force in 2014-2015 with millions of dollars being earmarked for schools to comply with specified technology requirements. This enormous investment in testing will be a windfall for Pearson, Wireless Generation and other profit seeking corporations. Meanwhile, kindergarten and first grade teachers in Baltimore and elsewhere report class sizes of 32+ and city schools across the nation continue to be slated for closing.

We have a very small window of opportunity to convince states to withdraw their affiliations with PARCC or SBAC. Alabama has already done so, with other states considering the same. Once the money is invested and the tests are in place it will be extremely difficult to free our nation’s schools from the testing regime. Thousands more schools will be proclaimed failures, closed and replaced with charters staffed by temporary TFA style non-union “teachers”. Furthermore, there are currently no safeguards in place to protect the privacy of student test data resulting from the PARCC and SBACC assessments.

Join a coalition of activists from Save Our Schools, United Opt Out and other groups to plan a national campaign to urge states to withdraw from the assessment consortia. Please “like” the facebook page, “Campaign to Withdraw from Assessment Consortia” (CWAC) and declare your interest in joining this coalition. Together, we will plan a range of strategies that will hopefully be effective in a very short period of time. An in-person planning meeting will be scheduled at Occupy DOE 2.0: The Struggle for Public Schools in D.C. on April 4-7. Check the Occupy DOE schedule for time and place. Also, check the campaign facebook page for news, actions and upcoming meetings.

Thank you all for your activism and solidarity,
Bess Altwerger
Save Our Schools National Action Co-coordinator