Truth Squad: Teachers Union’s Ad is Highly Misleading

As reported last week, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) is spending over $250,000 on a misleading TV ad campaign that demands state legislators eliminate annual state testing.

They’re not alone in this endeavor. Their parent union, the National Education Association (NEA), has also been running an ad campaign in Connecticut as part of their nationwide push against the standardized testing requirement in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

While the CEA’s TV ad vaguely attacks the amount of time spent on testing, the NEA’s goes for broke, and makes the extraordinary claim that one-third of class time is spent on test preparation.

Scary right? It’s also completely untrue. So untrue, that even research paid for by their sister union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), disproves their claim.

A 2013 study commissioned by AFT found that, on average, only eight percent of class time is spent on test preparation for state testing.

That’s a far cry from the “one-third” referenced in NEA’s national ad.

The very same study also found that local and benchmark testing take up two-to-three times more class time than state or federally mandated tests.

And yet, the CEA and NEA are seeking to eliminate annual state tests, the ones linked to teacher evaluation and are used to identify achievement gaps.

What the CEA doesn’t say in their TV ads is that state testing makes sure schools can’t ignore these achievement gaps – which, according to the Brookings Institute, is exactly what was happening prior to the federal government mandating state testing.

Graduation rates and test scores have gone up for low-income and minority students across the board since the U.S. government began requiring state testing; without state testing, these students will be invisible once again.

But, of course, none of this is mentioned in either NEA or CEA’s ads – because why bother with the facts when it’s much easier to just talk about how boring tests are.



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