As they continue to push state education officials to ask the federal government for a waiver to delay a new standardized test scheduled to be given next year, parent advocates announced Friday they also want the state legislature to pass a bill allowing parents to opt their child out of the exam.
CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett made a big point at the board meeting today to say that she is asking the Illinois State Board of Education and the federal government to let the district delay the PARCC, the state’s new standardized test aligned with the more rigorous Common Core Standards.
Teachers tell Catalyst Chicago they’re tired of giving out so many tests. During a recent roundtable discussion, CPS educators shared their concerns about assessments, debated the usefulness of computer-based individualized learning programs and asked what the best yardstick is for measuring student growth.
Just one year after unveiling a new School Quality Rating Policy that’s based on a range of indicators from attendance to academic growth, the Board of Education voted on Wednesday to now allow schools to be ranked entirely on their test results.
More students scored above national norms this past year on the new standardized tests CPS is using than in the previous school year.
About 51.5 percent of elementary school students are performing at national norms in reading and 49 percent in math, compared to around 46 percent in both categories in 2013, CPS officials announced Thursday. Scores improved in every grade, with 8th-graders scoring above national norms.
A new promotion policy has led to a 29-percent drop in summer school enrollment. CPS officials say students who would have gone to summer school under the old policy will get targeted academic help next year.
UPDATE: Following Thursday’s interviews at Drummond, CPS officials visited Saucedo on Friday to continue their investigation into “teacher misconduct” related to the recent ISAT boycott. CPS officials said that, unlike Thursday, no students were questioned on Friday.
On the day that many schools began administering the ISAT, state education officials told parents that they have no legal right to opt their children out of the mandatory test and that all students must be given the test and have the directions for taking it read to them.
With nearly 40 percent of their students already opting out of the ISAT, teachers at Saucedo Scholastic Academy—a high-achieving magnet school—took the bold step on Tuesday of voting to refuse to administer it.
In only one other instance—at a high school in Seattle last year—have teachers in one school made a unified group decision not to give a mandated test. National opponents of standardized testing applauded the decision and said it will send a signal across the country.