Chester responds to MTA on PARCC "security agreement" issue

The MTA has received a fast response to its message urging Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester to rescind a demand that educators sign a "security agreement" related to administering the PARCC tests beginning next week.

MTA President Barbara Madeloni and MTA Vice President Janet Anderson wrote a letter to Chester on the morning of Friday, March 13, calling on him to rescind any requirement that teachers sign the agreement.

The MTA received the following e-mail from the spokeswoman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education just hours after sending the letter to Chester:

Dear Dr. Madeloni,

Commissioner Chester wanted to make sure you had the following excerpt from his March 13 Commissioner’s Update, which just went out. He will follow up Monday with a more detailed response to your letter.

PARCC Security Agreement for Educators:

It has come to ESE's attention that some educators who will administer PARCC have raised concerns about the PARCC Security Agreement included in the PARCC Test Administrator Manuals. As always, test administrators and other school personnel involved in the administration of state assessments are expected to follow the policies and protocols for test security and administration. Teachers, however, do not have to sign the PARCC Security Agreement in order to proctor the test.

Test administrators and other school personnel involved in test administration have an ethical and professional obligation to administer the assessments in accordance with the relevant policies and protocols whether or not the individuals sign the relevant acknowledgement form or agreement.

Members should check the MTA website and watch for updates and further explanation by e-mail in the days ahead.

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