Testing Opt Out Press Conference

We joined with the Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday, March 12, for an opt out of IAR press conference at Hernandez Middle School: “CPS test undercuts newly arrived immigrant children, charge teachers.” 

Here is our 2019 Standardized Testing and Opt Out Toolkit which contains an explanation of the "new" IL state test, IL Assessment of Readiness or IAR, as well as opt out resources in both English and Spanish.

Press Coverage:

WBEZ: Teachers: Children New To The U.S. Should Sit Out State Tests

Univision Chicago: Piden a CPS que no realice nuevo examen estatal en inglés a estudiantes que no dominan el idioma

Telemundo Chicago: Piden cambios en el sistema escolar a beneficio de alumnos inmigrantes

ABC 7 Chicago: Chicago Teachers Union: Illinois Assessment Readiness test unfair to non-English speaking children

 

Press Conference Statement from Joy Clendenning, RYH Interim Executive Director

RYH statement #ChooseToRefuse the #ZombiePARCC and treat students, parents, and teachers with kindness and respect.

I have four children and this is my 17th year as a CPS parent. Raise Your Hand, a public school parent organization, stands here today to to say no to this test and yes to opt out. We demand that CPS and the state, ISBE, stop misleading and mistreating students and parents who choose to refuse the test, and the teachers who bravely stand in support of their students and families. Our message to CPS is: you should be treating children and families with kindness and respect no matter the state policy and no matter their personal decision about whether to participate in yet another year of this expensive, time-consuming standardized test.

Families have been refusing state testing en masse since 2014. The 2015 renewal of the federal law, ESSA, states explicitly that its provisions do NOT preempt any state or local laws allowing parents to decline to have their children participate in federally mandated assessments. [Sec. 1111(b)(2)(K)] So, even though the federal government mandates annual testing, it also recognizes the right of states to give parents the right to refuse that their children participate.

And yet, the IL State Board of Education has continued to insist, year after year, that schools cannot and must not recognize a parent exercising their right to opt their child out of testing.

Children as young as eight, children who are non-verbal, children who fear consequences like deportation, children with severe anxiety, and children who do not yet speak English, are forced to refuse the test themselves, even when their parents have informed the school that they do not want their children to take the test.

This is a misguided and harmful policy. It needs to change.

______

Soy Joy Clendenning. Soy la directora provisional de Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education, Levanta la mano por la educacion publica de Illinois. Tengo cuatro hijos y tengo diecysiete anos de ser padre en la CPS. Levanta la mano, una organizacion de padres de las escuelas publicas, esta aqui hoy para decir no a la prueba IAR y si a rehusar la prueba. Exigimos que la CPS y el estado, ISBE, dejen de mentirles y maltratar a los estudiantes y padres quienes deciden rehusar la prueba y a los maestros valientes quienes apoyan sus estudiantes y familias. Nuestra mensaje al CPS es: deben tratar los ninos y familias con respeto y amabilidad, no importa la politica del estado y no importa la decision personal de participar o no en aun otro ano de esta costosa (en dinero y en perdida de tiempo) prueba estandarizada.

Muchas familias han estado rehusando las pruebas estatales desde 2014. La nueva aprobacion de la ley nacional ESSA dice claramente que sus provisiones no prohiben a ningun estado ni comunidad local tener leyes que permiten a los padres rehusar la participacion de sus hijos en las pruebas mandatorias del estado. Es decir, aunque el gobierno nacional dice que los estados deben administrar pruebas cada ano, tambien reconoce el derecho de estados dar el derecho a los padres de rehusar la participacion de sus hijos.

Y todavia, la junta directiva de educacion de Illinois sigue insistiendo, ano despues ano, que escuelas no puedan y no deban reconocer un padre ejerciendo su derecho de rehusar la participacion de su hijo en las pruebas.

Hasta ninos de ocho anos, ninos no verbales, ninos con miedo de consecuencias como el de la deportacion, ninos con ansiedad severa, y ninos quienes todavia no hablan el ingles, son forzados de rehusar las pruebas, ellos mismos, aun cuando sus padres han informado a la escuela que no quieren que sus hijos participen en la prueba.

Esta politica es equivocada y hace dano. Hay que cambiarla.



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