PSAT for 2-4-14: Sign our petition to scrap the ISAT!

psat_logoMore Than a Score’s petition to scrap the ISAT has been up only a couple of days and already has over 750 signatures. Let’s hit the 1000 mark today!

And don’t forget the ISAT forum this Thursday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 at Haas Park. Speakers will include Cassie Creswell from More Than a Score, Greg Michie, CPS teacher and author, a student member of VOYCE, and CPS teacher Monique Redeaux-Smith. We’ll have opt out and other resources to share, including MTAS’s alternative proposal for replacing high-stakes testing with common-sense use of report cards. Here’s a flyer to download.

Here’s what the petition says:

We parents, students, and educators are concerned that the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) will be administered again this March.  The ISAT is not used in Chicago for student promotion, or for school performance, or for selective enrollment admission, nor is it used for teacher evaluation purposes.

By forcing our children to undergo this meaningless test, they will lose hours of valuable classroom instruction time, disrupting as many as ten school days.  CPS plans to force this test on students again at the same time that they are also required to take NWEA MAP tests, new Interim Benchmark Tests, REACH Performance Tasks, ACCESS tests, NAEP tests, pilot Common Core tests and more.

Over-testing of students has come with real costs to their education. Students need fewer tests and more access to arts, language and a broad, rich curriculum. Students need meaningful and educationally appropriate assessments, not more standardized tests.  We call on Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois State Board of Education not to give the ISAT test this year.

CPS and the State of Illinois plan to phase out ISAT and introduce a new test next year. CPS has no purpose for administering the ISAT beyond meeting a mandate to administer it. The State and Chicago Boards of Education should move to waive this wasteful test. All parents and students should be explicitly informed of their right to refuse standardized testing.  Students and families who choose to exercise the right to opt out should be treated fairly and respectfully.

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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.