From the Raise Your Hand Action Team:
ISBE is currently proposing changing rulesand setting requirements that go beyond what federal law says Illinois must do with respect to testing and opt out. These changes further entrench the overuse of standardized testing in Illinois.
Please raise your voice and submit a public comment about these changes. Email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, December 2nd.
You can read the proposed changes here. Here are our concerns about these changes:
- Previously schools were only required to do pilot testing once in four years. Now the state can ask them to pilot as often as the state deems necessary. This is important because the state’s newest test for 3-8th graders, the IL Assessment of Readiness, is eventually going to be an adaptive test, and that could require a lot of additional piloting of test questions.
- In addition, ISBE’s proposed rules say that if more than 1% of students refuse SAT testing, the school needs to get approval from the state to allow those students to graduate. Since the SAT became the state test for juniors, we’ve heard from families who want to refuse the SAT because their child only wants to take the ACT for college admissions. The rule change doesn’t make clear that this will be an accepted reason to not participate in the SAT.
- The rule change also makes the calculation of a school’s participation rate on the state test stricter—on top of ISBE having already made the consequences for low participation more draconian under their new ESSA state plan. This will increase the pressure to participate in state testing families already receive from districts.
You have a right as a parent to determine whether your child takes a standardized test or not. Your child should not be held back from graduating if you decide the state test is not appropriate for them. And schools shouldn’t be penalized for families’ decisions to opt out. The federal government has made it clear that states can recognize parents’ rights to opt their children out of state testing. ISBE should clearly affirm that intent in their rule-making.
Please take a minute to email ISBE about your opposition to these rule changes. Include an example of how high-stakes state testing is negatively affecting your child, your school or your district to explain why ISBE should be lessening the burden of standardized testing on our schools, not exacerbating it.
The most problematic changes are (1) the state will be able to force schools to pilot tests as frequently as they wish rather than only once every four years and (2) that schools will have to ask the permission of the state before granting a diploma to a student who has refused the SAT in 11th grade.
The comment period ends on Dec. 3rd, so we are urging people to email their comments in by Dec 2nd.