IL-FPS news: What’s next for ISBE’s plan to increase testing? Also: DC & Springfield updates

It’s been an entire year since the State Superintendent brought to the IL State Board of Education a proposal for revamping the state standardized test system by increasing 3-8th grade math and reading testing to three times per year rather than just once and adding optional tests for K-2 as well.

The K-2 part of the proposal will be blocked if Governor Pritzker signs SB 3986, the Too Young To Test bill, which was sent to his desk on April 29th. But the proposal for 3-8th grade is still on the table.

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PRESS RELEASE: Illinois Legislature Passes ‘Too Young To Test’ Act

April 11, 2022

Bill will safeguard grades PreK-2nd from state testing 

Young children will be protected from any current or future plans to expand state standardized testing into prekindergarten through second grade if Governor Pritzker signs a new Too Young To Test law passed by the Illinois General Assembly this session.

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Action Alert: Ask Sen. Durbin to oppose the College Transparency Act and say NO to a federal student surveillance system

On February 4th, the US House approved a version of the America COMPETES Act that includes the College Transparency Act (CTA), a bill that would allow the US Department of Education to create a federal database to track every student who enrolls in a US institution of post-secondary ed from enrollment to end of life.

The Senate version of America Competes didn’t include the CTA, and now the two chambers are working out via conference committee whether it will be in the final version. As the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin can influence what will happen with this bill.

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Success for #TooYoungToTest! SB 3986 passes both houses!

With a successful House floor vote of 69-39 on Friday afternoon, SB 3986 the #TooYoungToTest bill has now passed both chambers of the IL General Assembly. Next stop the Governor's desk! Check the roll call and give your state rep a thank you call for voting YES!

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Action alert: House vote coming up on #TooYoungToTest SB 3986

We're still awaiting a House floor vote on SB 3986, the Senate version of Too Young To Test. So there's still time to call your state rep to ask them to sign on as a sponsor and vote YES!

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Action Alert: Call your state rep about Too Young to Test

Too Young to Test bill passes on the Senate floor! Now it's the House's turn!

Last week the full Senate voted on the Too Young to Test bill, and it passed with broad bipartisan support, 53-2, with only Senators Curran (R-Downers Grove) and Plummer (R-Vandalia) voting no. (Roll call here.)

But this bill is facing more opposition in the House from the IL State Board of Education because they are very eager to expand the state testing system into K-2.

Please take a minute today to call your state rep if you haven't called yet this week. Ask if you can count on them to vote YES on the floor on HB 5285 and ask them to sign on as a sponsor.

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Too Young to Test bill keeps on moving; Covid mitigation now up to districts alone

Too Young to Test bill through committee!

The Too Young to Test bill kept moving forward this past week. It passed in committee in the IL House on Wednesday evening, with the hard work of chief sponsor Rep Lindsey LaPointe and heartfelt speeches from Representatives Sue Scherer and Cyril Nichols about the damage high-stakes testing has done to children.

With the Senate version passing in committee the previous week, both bills could have a floor vote in their respective chamber any day once ILGA returns to Springfield on Tuesday.

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Testing bills in hearing this week; Child tax credit for IL; Mask chaos in IL schools

Updates on standardized testing bills in hearing in the House this week, HB 5285 and HB 5149; expanding the Earned Income Credit and creating a Child Tax Credit to make IL's tax structure less regressive; what's happening with the mask mandate lawsuit and its impact on schools.

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Action alert: House hearing on Too Young to Test HB 5285

Last Tuesday the Senate version of the Too Young to Test bill, SB 3986, passed in the Senate Education Committee. There is also a companion bill in the House, HB 5285, filed by chief sponsor Rep Lindsey LaPointe with the same language as the Senate version that is now moving, and it has a House Education Committee hearing this Wednesday 2/16 at 2pm.

Please put in a witness slip as a PROPONENT before the hearing! Witness slip filing instructions here.

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Letter to Champaign Board of Ed about play and school day length

Champaign CUSD 4 is in contract negotiations with the Champaign Federation of Teachers, and the Board of Education wants to extend the day by 50 minutes starting in fall 2023. Justification for this change is the passage last summer of the Right to Play recess bill which requires 30 minutes of play for grades K-5 in public elementary schools every day. IL Families for Public Schools sent a letter about this to the CUSD 4 Board of Education. Letter here and text below.

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