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Illinois State Board of Education considers three-times-a-year testing

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

By Amanda Brennan

The Illinois State Board of Education is considering changing the state’s once-a-year standardized testing requirement to a three-times-a-year testing requirement, starting with optional testing for children as young as kindergarteners.

There is not a specific proposal set yet, and any changes made to the current Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) will have to be allowed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Three tests a year may allow teachers to gain results more quickly. Right now, teachers see the standardized test results a year later after their students have already moved on to the next grade level.

The Illinois Board of Education was scheduled to vote on this matter last June but it was paused to give teachers and parents more time to research and voice their opinions.

Many feel that standardized testing is not the most accurate way to test students and feel that this would add stress to parents, teachers and students alike.

The Board of Education surveyed 5,000 people across the state. 75% of respondents said that they were not satisfied with the current testing system and 50% said that the testing needs “substantial” change.

In the same survey, 60% of respondents also said they would support a system with several shorter tests throughout the year rather than one big end-of-the-year assessment. 20% were against it and 20% were undecided.

Although the state does not have a proposal yet, these interim assessments are not estimated to exceed $228 million over the course of 10 years.

Illinois currently pays Pearson $55 million for three years of assessments.

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