Public comment at December 15, 2021 ISBE meeting from Cassie Creswelll, IL-FPS directorRead more
Downers Grove parents and students push back against extremist group trying to ban LGBTQ+ books
We shared with you last week that book banning attempts are on the rise nationally, and right here in Downers Grove a meeting was held Monday where a small group of parents supported by outside agitators showed up to try and have award-winning LGBTQ books banned from the school library. Luckily, the community came out in force to speak out against this attempt at this bigoted attempt at censorship.Read more
Last week, a lawsuit was filed against 145 school districts including Chicago Public Schools, Governor Pritzker and ISBE by groups of parents at these districts to lift the mask mandate and other covid safety measures in the schools. Each group of parents gave Attorney Tom Devore $5000 totalling $725K donated to make our schools and communities unsafe.Read more
In April, the IL State Board of Education had on its agenda an approval of a Request for Proposals for a $227M contract to start on July 1, 2021 to develop and administer a new state test for Illinois. The test would be administered three times a year, not just once, and would cover K-2, not just 3-8th, which is what the federal government requires. The approval vote has been delayed until ISBE's June 16th meeting, but much of the pubic participation at this week's May ISBE meeting was devoted to comments on this RFP. Marty Gartzman spoke on behalf of IL Families for Public Schools.
In April 2021, the IL State Board of Education had an item on its agenda to approve of a Request for Proposals for a contract to start on July 1, 2021 to replace the annual math and reading tests for 3-8th grade (IAR). New interim tests given three times a year and made available for K-2nd grade as well (with the state paying the cost for the schools that chose to test K-2nd grade students.)
To meet federal requirements, Illinois couldn't immediately replace the IAR but would need to pilot this new test until 2024 or 2025. So 20% of IL students would take both the IAR and these new tests until then. The expected cost of the new test is $228M over the next ten years---on top of the cost for the remaining four years of IAR testing.
After IL-FPS and our allies raised questions, the Board's approval vote was delayed until May, and then delayed again. And intense pushback from educators, parents and assessment experts has so far put a pause on the vote. Stakeholder feedback sessions on a new assessment were finally held in February 2022, and the Board is scheduled to consider the findings from those sessions in March with a vote on the proposal in May 2022.
Read more about the testing system proposal and what you can do about it in our one-pager: 2021 State Testing Update: What you need to Know
And learn about what interim tests are and why they aren't suitable for a high-stakes accountability system in this explainer: Interim tests: What you need to know
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