The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), in partnership with the Center of Assessment, has released a video and survey about proposed changes to the K-8 assessment system. You may have already received them or may receive them soon.
The IFT urges you NOT to complete the survey until you understand its intent and implications.
ISBE is advocating for what is called a "through-year," or interim testing system, in which students would take three high-stakes tests each year instead of one. The IFT opposes this increase in high-stakes testing. Last spring, our advocacy resulted in ISBE postponing their vote on this harmful proposal. We demanded that they engage with students, parents and educators, who will be most impacted by the proposed changes.
ISBE has indicated that they will use feedback from the video and survey to determine next steps, but they did not seek our input when creating them. And they still have not communicated with stakeholders about the benefits and challenges of different assessment models in any meaningful way.
We know that this proposed expansion of assessments will impact instruction, teacher evaluations, and school accountability - in the midst of a pandemic, nonetheless. It is vital that we have a clear and complete understanding of the opportunities - and threats - of potential changes.
The IFT will soon be sending you more information to help inform your responses to ISBE's new survey.
Please stay tuned!