Thirty-seven Illinois state lawmakers are asking the state education board to apply due diligence before voting on a new, multimillion-dollar standardized testing system.
In a letter to the Illinois State Board of Education, lawmakers question a $228 million proposal to replace the annual Illinois Assessment of Readiness, which tests students’ math and reading proficiency in third through eighth grades each spring, with an assessment that would be taken three times a year.
The proposal includes optional testing for students in kindergarten through second grade three times yearly.
State Superintendent Carmen Ayala brought the proposal to the state board in April as part of her goal to overhaul the state’s standardized testing system.
But a final vote has been pushed back. Some educators believe testing students multiple times during a school year is a better measure of growth and progress than a one-time test.
Lawmakers have raised concerns about over-testing students, particularly in low-income Black and brown communities, and expanding testing to the early grades. Their letter will be delivered to Ayala and the board ahead of its Wednesday meeting.