Public school students are subjected to unprecedented levels of high-stakes standardized tests, and the decisions attached to test scores have ever higher stakes for students, teachers and schools.
Across the country, parents have been taking direct action on standardized testing by refusing to allow their children to participate in the tests.
This session the IL General Assembly is considering an opt out bill, HB 306. HB306 passed the IL House in May 2015; now it needs to pass the IL Senate.
HB306 is intended to clarify parental rights around opting children out of state-mandated standardized testing. Parents would be able to notify schools in writing that their child was opting out of any state-mandated standardized testing. The child would be provided with an alternative educational activity during test. There would be no negative consequences for students, families, teachers, administrators, schools or districts.
The Illinois State Board of Education does not recognize a parent’s right to make this decision for the child. Children, even those who are not capable of verbally refusing, are expected to refuse state-mandated testing in Illinois.
“Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent and voter who has kids in public school. I’m very concerned about the way standardized testing has impacted our schools overall. I would like to know if Senator _____ would co-sponsor HB306, the opt out bill. Six other states already have laws which gives parents a voice in the important decision of whether their child takes a state mandated test. Currently in Illinois, children are told they have to refuse the test and parents have no voice in this important matter. Can I count on Sen ______’s support for HB306?”