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Let teachers teach, not test!

ISBE is trying to expand testing again – we will need your help to stop them.

Last Spring, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) put forth a proposal to replace the high-stakes, end of the year math and reading test for 3-8th grades (Illinois Assessment of Readiness, or IAR​) with 3 high stakes interim tests given in the Fall, Winter, and Spring of each year. The proposal would also expand testing to K-2nd graders. After pushback from educators, parents, and community members, the state board postponed their vote on the proposal. However, in September, they revealed their plans to move forward with the same proposal.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers, Chicago Teachers Union, and our education partners oppose ISBE’s increased testing proposal. Here’s why:

  • The plan would cost more than $228 million over the next decade, yet there is no proof that interim tests promote better teaching or increased learning.

  • ISBE hasn't consulted those most impacted by the proposed change: Illinois families, students, and educators.

  • The plan would increase high-stakes testing (3x/year, or every 10-12 weeks) and test preparation time and decrease meaningful instructional time.

  • The plan opens the door to mandatory K-2 standardized testing, which is developmentally inappropriate for early learners.

Changes to state-mandated testing must be decided with real stakeholder input and due consideration. Our students, especially those in underserved Black and Brown communities, have carried the brunt of the negative impacts of COVID-19. High-stakes standardized tests did not serve them well before the pandemic, and increasing testing now would create additional stress and trauma. Education resources should instead be spent on smaller class sizes, additional clinicians, and other supports that improve teaching and learning and promote healing for our students who have experienced unprecedented loss. Learn more, then join us by sharing articles, videos, and messages about testing and #TeachNotTest on your social media networks. Together, we can build a better system of state and local assessments from the ground up. As always, thank you for all you do!

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