Illinois takes first step in reigning in standardized tests

Illinois isn’t getting rid of the bevy of tests students take every year, but the state will finally track just how many tests students are taking.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law Friday that will have school districts across the state send a report of every statewide or national standardized test students take.

The governor said Illinois needs to know just how many tests school children take each year.

“We have a vast number of standardized test being given to our children throughout the state of Illinois,” Rauner said. “There is a concern about too much testing in the state of Illinois.”

Rauner said he wants local schools to continue to have local control over their test curriculum, but he does want to know how many tests are scheduled.

Mike Chamness, spokesman for the Illinois Association of School Administrators, said the Illinois’ School Management Alliance actually wanted the governor to veto the law.

Chamness said the Alliance fully supports transparency, but is dedicated to fighting all unfunded mandates for local schools.

“We’ve had over the past two years 116 unfunded mandates put on schools,” Chamness said. “This is just another.”

The governor said it’s time for Illinois to look past standardized tests as the best or only way to measure whether students are learning what they need to know.

Rauner said there’s a misconception about testing.

“If students score at a high level on some test, that’s a good school,” the governor said. “If they score lower, that’s a bad school. That’s not true.”

Chamness said the Alliance agrees that standardized testing is not the be all and end all for measuring success.

“Tests have their place in terms of providing useful data and benchmarks for educators,” Chamness said. “But in terms of saying this is a good or a bad school, we think that’s a misuse of those tests.”

Rauner said Illinois will always need a way to measure how students are learning and how well teachers are teaching. He said he hopes to push for those reforms soon.

–Illinois News Network

One thought on “Illinois takes first step in reigning in standardized tests

  • Jul 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    As a parent, I have been appalled by all the test my kids have to take each year! I help in the classrooms every day and I KNOW teachers are teaching ONLY the information the kids need for the standardized tests. The papers given to the students are even in the form of the standardized tests. Because of all this UNNECESSARY testing, principals are NOT having teachers teach geography or SPELLING! The principals are only concerned with whether or not THEIR school performs well on these tests. One principal got very angry at one of the teachers b/c she was giving spelling tests every Friday. I heard the principal tell the teacher spelling is NOT on the tests, you don’t have time to teach that. Ditto for the geography she was teaching. You wonder why our kids are coming out of school ignorant? They are not taught concepts, how to figure out problems for themselves, how to analyse, how to think logically, they can’t spell and they can’t read worth a darn. Yes, we have volunteers come in for reading with individual kids but that kid, while with the volunteer, is missing out on OTHER studies. The whole system is ludicrious. I never would have learned a THING if I would have been taught this way. Instead, I came from a generation where teaching subjects was a profession, we learned EVERYTHING. When I graduated from school, we had over 1300 graduates. You don’t see that anymore in Rockford. Overhaul the system, teach EVERY subject, make kids and parents RESPONSIBLE for homework assignments being done, and if a kid doesn’t want to learn in class, send him/her to a smaller class that can help with individualized teaching. And YES, some kids are going to fail but that is a consequence we have stopped teaching in America. This passing kids on grade after grade when they can’t read or do basic math is only a disaster for the kid. They fall so far behind there is no hope of them attaining the knowledge at the level of grade they are in. STOP the insanity.

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