Students opting out of PSAE


Some students from Gage Park High School are planning to boycott part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE).

About 80 Gage Park students walked out of a NAEP exam earlier this year. NAEP is a national exam used to compare districts and states across the U.S. The students objected to having their time taken up with tests that had no bearing on their studies, at a time when some students didn’t even feel safe inside the school.

A WBEZ report quotes the students saying they are sick of test prep and opposed to the use of PSAE test scores to evaluate teachers, principals and schools.

The danger of the PSAE boycott is that the exam is a state graduation requirement — students don’t have to “pass” the PSAE but they do have to take it.

Here’s hoping that they will show up, sign their names to the test, answer at least one question, and then do whatever else they feel moved to do.




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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.