testingSPRINGFIELD – A measure spearheaded by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) that would prohibit standardized tests for Illinois’ youngest students passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

“Studies show that younger children are best engaged when encouraged to explore and play, and that’s not prioritized when teachers are worried about preparing students for a test,” said Pacione-Zayas, a longtime advocate for education. “Even more, young children are still in the throes of intellectual and emotional development, making standardized tests developmentally inappropriate.”

Currently, the federal government requires standardized testing for students in third grade and older but does not mandate it for students in pre-K through second grade. The Illinois State Board of Education is considering allowing optional standardized tests for those younger students.

Senate Bill 3986, also known as the Too Young to Test Act, would prohibit ISBE from developing or administering standardized tests for students pre-K though second grade, except for the case of diagnostic tests including determining eligibility for special education services, bilingual services, dyslexia interventions, observational tools like the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey, and the federally mandated English Learner assessments.

Pacione-Zayas is working in collaboration with an organization, Illinois Families for Public Schools, to advance this legislation. They say that in a time when children are rapidly developing, their tests scores are not reliable to where they may actually be developmentally.

“Standardized tests at the upper grade levels are already stressful enough. Younger students and their parents should not be pressured into taking optional tests to prepare for those future required ones,” Pacione-Zayas said.

SB 3986 passed the Senate Education Committee and now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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