RYH Secures Support from 12 Legislators to Delay PARCC exam

Raise Your Hand Secures Support from 12 Legislators to Delay PARCC Exam

CHICAGO – As part of its “Park the PARCC” campaign, education advocacy group, Raise Your Hand has been working to secure support from Illinois legislators in requesting a one-year delay in implementation of the PARCC exam from Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).  Based on inadequate time for field-testing, inadequate technological and Common Core readiness across the state, test length and lack of administrative support, there is widespread agreement that the test is not yet ready for statewide, mandatory administration. To date, 11 legislators have agreed to appeal to the ISBE to for a one-year delay of the PARCC.  They include:

US Rep Jan Schakowsky - 9th district

Senator Daniel Biss - 9th district

Senator Heather Steans - 7th district

Senator William Delgado- 2nd district

Senator Iris Martinez (added 12/31/14)

Senator John Mulroe - 10th district

Rep Jamie Andrade - 40th district

Rep Kelly Cassidy - 14th district

Rep Laura Fine -17th district

Rep Robyn Gabel - 18th district

Rep Kenneth Dunkin - 5th district

Rep Elaine Nekritz - 57th district

Rep Robert Martwick - 19th district

Rep Ann Williams - 11th district

Raise Your Hand applauds these Illinois legislators as well as CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett for requesting a delay of the PARCC. Raise Your Hand implores the ISBE and the USDOE to listen to the voices of teachers, parents, administrators and school districts across Illinois who agree that Illinois schools are not ready for this test and the test is not ready for Illinois schools.

RYH is also working with legislators at the state level to seek “opt out” legislation that will allow parents the option to refuse state-mandated tests for their child without any fear of repercussions. Under current policy, a student may refuse to take a school-administered standardized test. An estimated 2000 students across 90 schools in CPS declined to take the test last year.

“Although most opt-out students and families were treated with respect, there have been numerous incidents where school administrators threatened and coerced students into “opting back in,” said Cassie Creswell, Raise Your Hand board member. “Opt out legislation encoding parent/guardian rights is on the books in at least six other states. Illinois needs to get on board with this type of policy to ensure that students who opt out are treated fairly and their families’ wishes are respected.”

About Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education: Raise Your Hand is a growing coalition of Chicago and Illinois public school parents, teachers and concerned citizens advocating for equitable and sustainable education funding, quality programs and instruction for all students and an increased parent voice in policy-making around education. www.ilraiseyourhand.org.