Friday, April 17, 2015

The IEA Adopted an Opt-Out Amendment Today, April 17th (with One Condition)

The IEA supports the right of a parent or guardian to exclude his or child from any or all parts of state and district-level standardized tests, provided the state or school districts are not financially or otherwise penalized if such students are excluded, and supports the right of educators without suffering from adverse actions regarding their employment or licensure to:

Discuss the impact of standardized testing with parents and/or guardians

Discuss the state and district-level standardized tests with parents or guardians and may inform parents or guardians of their ability to exclude his or her child from state and/or district-level standardized tests

Provide a parent or guardian with his or her opinion on whether or not a student would benefit from exclusion from a state and/or district-level test, and that no adverse action or discipline will be taken against a school district employee who engages in such discussion.

The IEA furthermore supports:

A school and its employees not being negatively impacted due to a student not taking a state and/or district level standardized test, such as by ensuring that students who are opted out of standardized tests by a parent or guardian are excluded from performance calculations for state and local accountability measures and from employee evaluations

Reducing the volume of standardized tests that students must take and to reduce the time educators and students spend on meaningless test preparation drills

Reasonable time being spent on standardized-assessments and assessment preparation drills

The Governor, General Assembly and ISBE working with educators and other stakeholders to reexamine public school accountability systems throughout the state and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment that do not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools

The over-reliance on high-stakes standardized testing in district, state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep subject-matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in democracy and an increasingly global society and economy

The over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, reducing instructional time, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate

Increasing numbers of parents, educators and school districts are voicing concerns about the over-emphasis and over-abundance of standardized tests

High-stakes standardized testing has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English language learners, children of color and those with disabilities
School districts throughout the state are mandated to administer standardized tests specific to grade levels

In addition to the standardized tests mandated under state and federal law, school districts throughout Illinois also administer separate district-wide standardized tests throughout the year which increases the amount of annual standardized testing

At present, there are no laws in Illinois which protect the right of a parent or guardian to exclude his or her child from state or district-level standardized tests

At present, there are no laws in Illinois which provide employment protects to educators who discuss the impact of standardized tests with a parent or guardian.

1 comment:

  1. "...[P]rovided the state or school districts are not financially or otherwise penalized if such students are excluded..."

    In other words, the IEA will not support any legislative bill unconditionally that may threaten its financial future, such as House Bill 306.