As we mentioned last week, No Child Left Behind (the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA) is in the process of being rewritten. This is the law that requires annual yearly testing for every student in 3-8 that has been the catalyst for so much of the overuse and misuse of standardized testing in our schools. There is a US Senate hearing coming up on 1/21, and we need parents to call their US senators and representatives ASAP!
Raise Your Hand agrees with Fair Test and Parents Across America and other groups that are advocating for what is known as “Option 1” of Senator Lamar Alexander’s bill and calling for grade-span rather than annual testing. (Grade span testing means testing once in 3-5th, once in 6-8th, and once in high school.)
Option 1 offers states flexibility in how often they test and what kind of assessments they use. Option 2 would leave testing more or less as it is in the current law, except that it doesn’t require the use of tests to evaluate teachers.
What can you do?
- Introduce yourself as constituent and parent. Make brief comment about concerns about standardized testing and what’s happening at your school
- Say you support Option 1 of Senator Alexander’s bill and want grade-span testing instead of annual testing requirements
- Say you support flexibility for states to choose assessments
- Mention support for the right to opt-out and say that we need to make it clear in IL law that parents can opt their children out of testing.
You can read the bill here but it’s 387 pages!