From the article:

The Illinois state board of education is in the process of changing its current assessment system from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), a test currently given at the end of the school year, to a three-times-a-year test. The state board’s plan for the new assessment would include an optional kindergarten to second grade exam.

In response to the state’s plan, the Illinois Families for Public Education created “Too Young to Test” – a bill. Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago), a former state board of education member, plans to carry during this session.

The state already requires educators to complete a Kindergarten Individual Development Survey within the first few months of school; this legislation would not impact that survey or other local exams or diagnostic screeners to determine if a child has a disability. The bill, said Pacione-Zayas, would not impact those efforts.

“This is really about ensuring that our youngest children do not have to be subjected to a high stakes, accountability assessment,” said Pacione-Zayas.

Pacione-Zayas is also looking to boost funding for the Minority Teaching Initiative Scholarship, which provides assistance to people of color and bilingual student teachers. Usually the budget line for the scholarship is $2.1 million, Pacione-Zayas wants it to be $4.5 million. The increase in the scholarship amount will prevent students from leaving a teacher prep program for employment, she said.

Read the full article here

Category: In the News

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