Politics At Its Worst: Opposing Free SAT Tests For Connecticut

In a blazing act of political cynicism, Jon Pelto has come out in opposition of free SAT testing for Connecticut’s students and eliminating the SBAC test for high school juniors.

Why would anyone oppose this? Well, in Jon’s case, it’s probably because the Malloy administration was behind it.

Pelto recently called the state’s decision to swap out the SBAC for the SAT “disastrous,” implying that Malloy is “forcing” high school juniors to take the SAT.

Yep, now he’s mad that the state is cutting down on testing. Seriously.

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about, earlier this month, the state Board of Education voted in favor of swapping out the Smarter-Balance Assessment (SBAC) for the SAT in eleventh grade. The point of this reform is to lessen the testing burden on high school juniors, who previously were expected to take the SBAC exam around the same time that college entrance exams and AP exams are administered.

Since the state is picking up the tab for the SAT, this also eliminates a burden for low income students trying to go to college: paying for the test.

The State Board of Education vote was actually the last step in a long process – a process that started with the formation of Connecticut’s High School Assessment Working Group, which both the Connecticut Federation of Teachers (AFT-CT) and the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) were a part of.

In fact, the CEA wrote a blog post praising the decision, admitting that this change came, due in part, to their recommendation.

It’s interesting that now the dust has settled, anti-reformers are coming out of the woodwork to attack this decision — though I suppose we shouldn’t be shocked.

This has happened before.

As reader of the blog might remember, the teacher’s union helped develop and supported the state’s new teacher evaluation system, until they decided they didn’t.

This is how they operate. They support something until it’s politically expedient, and they oppose it. In the end, it’s not about “common sense reforms,” it’s about eliminating accountability entirely.

Maybe someone should remind Pelto and his ilk that there’s more at stake than political wins and losses.

What do you think?

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