REACH: Chicago test insanity grows, as CPS plans to test pre-kindergarteners despite all valid and reliable research saying that should never be

Chicago parents and children, down to the lowest grades, got a small reprieve from the increase in testing insanity in Chicago Public Schools when one of the many privatized portions of public education failed to deliver the goods. On September 15, 2013, school officials got a notification from Barbara Byrd Bennett that the REACH stuff won't be delivered until later than expected. The text is at the end of this article.

What is left out of the technocratic emanations about REACH is the fact that this project, based on junk science and really bad editing, should not be used at all. Despite the carefully rehearsed and scripted reports to the monthly meetings of the Chicago Board of Education, even in Chicago most people know -- by common sense if not from research -- that you can't "asses" the littlest kids this way, any more than you should give them private fans and not expect someone to get hurt. But with the members of the Chicago Board of Education and the top officials in the nation's third largest school system firmly under the control of the ideologues of corporate "school reform", REACH will reach down to three and four year olds unless a mass boycott is organized across the city.

Home Depot, meanwhile, has missed a REACH deadline, thereby giving everyone at least one extra week to prepare to stop this insanity. Below is the notice about the delay distributed by CPS:

Note: We anticipate there will be a delay in Office Depot’s delivery of printed REACH Performance Task orders. Orders placed by 9/6 will arrive by the week of 9/23 and orders placed by 9/13 will arrive by the following week. As such, the window for REACH Performance Tasks will be extended 1 week to close on Friday, Nov. 1st. Schools will still receive books for PK-2 and experiment materials for 5, 7, 8 and Chemistry Science classes by next week. Due to the individual nature of administration, scoring for PK teachers will be due in CIM by Nov. 18.


September 16, 2013 at 7:22 PM

By: Kati Gilson, NBCT


This test is developmentally inappropriate and takes away from valuable teaching time. We are already giving the ESI-R and using Gold which is 50 checkpoints per child each required by an observation. Plus they have to take the KRT at the end of the year as well as the REACH again. This is madnes! According to the new contract subs are supposed to be sent when teachers have to do 1:1 testing. Principals are saying they can't do that and there is an aide. Legally there must be 1 adult per child and a TA can't be left more than 40 minutes with the students. Also Head Start teachers are not getting their daily preps.

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