A bizarre video of Chicago public school teachers seemingly being addressed as though they were young children in a professional development training session has turned heads, right as some teachers prepare to put their jobs on the line to boycott the standardized exam addressed in the training session.
The one-minute video, posted to YouTube in mid-February, picked up steam last week when it was featured by the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss and given a signal boost by education policy analyst Diane Ravitch and Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis.
The clip shows teachers being told to repeat after a female consultant as part of "a professional development for teachers of Saturday ISAT preparation classes," according to the video's description.
"We will," she says. "We will," the teachers repeat. "Use," she says. "Use," they repeat. "Accurately," she says. "Accurately," they repeat, and so on.
The video surfaced at the same time teachers at two CPS elementary schools -- Drummond and Saucedo -- were planning to refuse to administer the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) for their students, despite the test being required by state and federal law, WBEZ's Linda Lutton reported.
The ISAT was scheduled to begin statewide for most third- through eighth-graders this week, but the Drummond and Saucedo teachers were standing by their decision to boycott the exam, which critics argue takes away too much classroom teaching time, according to NBC Chicago.
The ISAT will be phased out and replaced by a different standardized test in the next school year and parents can already opt their children out of taking the exam. The test this year will not impact students' grade promotions or selective enrollment school eligibility, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The district has said, in response, that teachers who fail to administer the test risk losing their certification because they claim the exam remains important for maintaining federal funding levels and monitoring student progress. NBC reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel said teachers who boycott the test will be "walked out."
See the video below: