PSAT for 3-5-13: Send me your ISAT stories

psat_logoThis is ISAT week and a lot of students, parents and teachers are thinking about opting out of the state tests.

PURE believes that standardized testing should be limited and that parents should have the right to opt their children out of any standardized tests.

We support SB2156, a bill to limit standardized testing in Illinois.

Part 1 of today’s PSAT – please contact your state senators and ask them to co-sponsor SB2156 and to amend it to include a parents’ right to opt out.

Parents in Illinois outside of Chicago have opted out of the ISAT. Some Chicago parents have also opted their students out of the ISAT in some grades – but since CPS uses 3rd, 6th and 8th grade ISAT scores to make student promotion decisions and 7th grade ISAT scores as a gateway to selective enrollment high schools, the opt out choice here can be hazardous.

So, PSAT Part 2 is to send me your ISAT stories so that we can continue to work to eliminate the high-stakes on the ISAT in Chicago (e-mail me at

PURE has an ongoing discrimination complaint against CPS’s student promotion policy. It was filed in December 2010, but due to CPS foot-dragging and the revolving leadership door, it has not been resolved.

Any information we can pass on to the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights about the CPS policy would be very helpful right now. This includes:

  • How principals, network officials, CPS administrators, or ISBE staff have responded to questions about opting out of ISAT.
  • ISAT testing problems.
  • Anything you have in writing about ISAT test policies or procedures.
  • Letters, e-mails etc. that you have written to anyone in CPS about opting out or other test problems.

I will contact you to get your permission before sharing anything with OCR.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.