State board makes adjustments to state testing requirements for 2021

IL-FPS testified on the issue of standardized testing this week at the IL State Board of Ed March Board meeting, and we were happy to learn that ISBE is waiving the grad requirement for current seniors for the SAT. The announcement of this can be found in ISBE's weekly newsletter under assessment.

Thanks to Marty Gartzman for testifying on behalf of ILFPS at the board meeting. Marty spoke about the need for ISBE to finally rescind their inadequate and damaging opposition to parental opt out of state mandated tests and for them to provide even more flexibility in administering the tests this year than they appear to be currently considering. This is particularly important for the ACCESS test for English-language learners; many families with emerging bilingual speakers have kept their children in remote learning, and the ACCESS test can only be adminisgtered in person.

In addition, Marty urged the Board "to use this experience as an opportunity to do a soup-to-nuts rethinking of how we assess and how we use assessment data in Illinois, so that it provides far more useful and actionable information to Illinois families and Illinois schools." You can read Marty's full statement here. (Video at 12 minute mark here.)

We also sent a letter this week making these same asks of ISBE to the Board and State Superintendent Carmen Ayala on behalf of Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Enlace Chicago, Illinois Families for Public Schools, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), Parents 4 Teachers, Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education, and Southwest Organizing Project.

We have been part of a coalition pushing to waive the state tests this year, and were very happy to see that over 700 IL Superintendents wrote to the Dept of Ed to pause the test, but unfortunately the Dept of Ed said the tests must go on, but with some flexibility allowed in scheduling and accountability. ISBE's currently planned waiver request would mean tests wouldn't be used for school accountability ratings, and, as such, there would also be no consequences for ratings if schools are unable to administer tests to 95% of students.

The US Dept of Ed are allowing states to administer tests either this spring or next fall. Below are the dates that ISBE has provided for windows for all of the state tests:


  • Spring 2021 Test Dates 
    • April 13, 2021 (primary test date) 
    • April 27, 2021 (makeup test date)
    • May 18, 2021 (added May makeup test date) 
    • April 13-27, 2021 (accommodations testing window)
  • Fall 2021 Test Dates
    • October 13, 2021 (primary test date)
    • October 28, 2021 (makeup test date)
    • October 13-26, 2021 (accommodations testing window)


  • Spring: March 15 - May 28, 2021
  • Fall: August 9 - October 8


  • Spring: March 15 - June 30, 2021
  • Fall: August 9 - October 8, 2021


  • Spring: March 15 - June 30, 2021
  • Fall: July 1 - September 17, 2021 


  • Spring: March 15 - June 30, 2021
  • Fall: August 9 - September 30, 2021