Photo: Standardized test
Parents and community organizations have joined Chicago teachers in a campaign to reduce the number of standardized tests students have to take.
Though the school district has reduced the number of exams this year from 25 to 10, according to Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, opponents of the testing are not satisfied.
One bone of contention is the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or ISAT, which the state is already phasing out.
But though the CPS will not take the ISAT results into account for administrative or admissions purposes, Bennett says the test will still have to be taken.
A group called More Than A Score has launched, through forums and social networks, the “Ice the ISAT” campaign urging parents to opt to have their children skip the test.
The group noted that children are subjected to these exams from the time they are in nursery shool, and consider that the results give no idea about what the youngsters are learning nor any indication of how they will fare in school later on.
Another objection is that standardized testing has become a profitable business for the companies that create and administer the tests.
Teachers like Rosa Perez, who has been working at a public school in southwest Chicago for eight years, asks that the funds being invested in all that testing be used instead to reduce class size and to employ more teachers, counselors and librarians in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
But more than anything, those opposed to the exams question the amount of time spent preparing students to take them.
Chicago Public Schools require that some exams be taken “four times a year,” Perez told Efe.
The teacher said she ends each year exhausted by the dozen exams required by the school district, state and federal government, and complained that those exams are making their creators “so much money.”