OPT OUT NEWS: National petitions growing minute by minute in support of ISAT boycott, Saucedo teachers... CORE meeting February 26 at five p.m. at Manny's Deli in Chicago

The explosion of the Opt Out movement in the face of the March 3, 2014 date when Chicago Public Schools officials are demanding that more than 300,000 children take the now-defunct ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Tests) has gone national in several ways. A petition in support of the teachers from Chicago's Maria Saucedo Elementary School is being circulated, union leaders have pledged their support to the teachers ethical stand, and a growing number of parents, teachers and others across Chicago are promising support not only for individual students who are opting out, but for the growing boycott movement among Chicago elementary teachers.

CORE members and others organizing Opt Out of the ISAT met at Manny's Deli on February 26, 2014 while the Board of Education was continuing its mendacity a few miles away. Photo by Nate Razmussin. CORE, the Caucus of Rank and file Educators, has scheduled a special meeting for this afternoon (Wednesday, February 26) at the famous Manny's Deli at 1141 S. Jefferson St at 5:00 p.m.

More Than A Score, one of the leading test resistance groups in Chicago, has announced a petition in support of the boycotts by teachers.

And the owners of the Chicago Sun-Times, which has been featuring regular front page photographs of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, slanted a story on the Saucedo boycott to highlight the possibility that the teachers could be "fired" for their act of conscientious objection and possible civil disobedience.



I'm writing from More Than A Score to make sure you know a few important things about yesterday's announcement of the ISAT boycott at Saucedo Elementary. Apologies for cross-posting or duplication.

This afternoon there will be an emergency meeting to organize the last several days before testing begins. You can share information and pick up leaflets to distribute to parents at your school. We have had tremendous success encouraging parents to opt out, and it's not a difficult case to make. Teachers have been some of the most effective opt-out messagers, with some delegates and teachers opting out dozens or even hundreds of students in their schools. As long as you're doing it on non-work time with non-work resources, you're free to discuss anything you want.


Manny's Deli

Saucedo support/information meeting

More Than A Score is working to communicate with as many parents as possible in these last few days. If you need help at your school, please contact us and we'll work to send help your way.

First, there's a CTU message of support to circulate:

The CTU has started a petition to support the teachers against any disciplinary action:

We are trying to keep a somewhat up to date list of schools who have students opting out. If you know of any we can add, please let me know:

Everything you need to know about the ISAT:

Attached are the flyers you might need to give to parents who want to opt out. You're free to do so outside of school and on your personal email.

You can direct parent queries to or 413-3OPT-OUT.

Feel free to call me if you have questions: 773-750-1553

Thanks for standing up for our kids!



February 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM

By: G Jensen

Construction at Saucedo

If you are going to the rally, California BLVD is closed. Access to the school must be done from the north such as taking Cermak to Califonia ave and then head south.

February 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM

By: John Kugler



"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or discharged, request that my Union representative be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions."

If anyone asks you if you are going to administer the ISAT, invoke your Union Rights IMMEDIATELY!!!!! Do Not Respond with any answers!!!! Read them your rights!

February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

By: John Kugler

Second School Boycotts ISAT

Teachers at second CPS school to boycott low-stakes ISAT

by ctu communications | 02/28/2014

CHICAGOThe Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) supports the teachers and parents at Thomas Drummond Montessori School who announced today their intent to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The union was notified by a group of teachers at Drummond this morning who will not administer next week's ISAT.

Some teachers at Drummond will join Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy as the second school this week with educators taking action against this low-stakes standardized test. Saucedo teachers announced on Tuesday their intent to boycott the ISAT.

This second [school with boycotting teachers] is evidence that more and more educators continue to take a principled stand against harmful tests and in support of their parents and students, said CTU VP Jesse Sharkey. The CTU supports these teachers and calls on the district to stop making threats to parents and educators who are trying to restore some sanity to the education system.

The Drummond teachers boycotting the ISAT are holding a press conference this afternoon regarding their decision. The CTU commends these members and pledges continued support and representation in the event of any retaliatory adverse action CPS may take against them.

WHO: CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey and Thomas Drummond Montessori School parents and teachers.

WHAT: Press conference to announce the decision of some Drummond teachers to boycott the Illinois State Achievement Test and highlight for the district the failure of a narrow, test-based approach to education that stifles creativity and undermines the efforts of teachers to develop engaged, curious and lifelong learners.

WHEN: Friday, February 28, at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Thomas Drummond Montessori School, 1845 W. Cortland St., Chicago, IL 60622

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