DECATUR, Ill. – Together with almost 40 of her colleagues, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, delivered a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, requesting that Illinois schools receive an exemption from taking the Illinois standardized tests in spring of 2021 as mandated by the federal government due to stress and disarray caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When COVID-19 hit a year ago, businesses, churches, and schools closed. Students, in particular, have been negatively affected in many ways both in and out of the classroom,” said Scherer. “Very limited teaching and learning took place during the 4th quarter of 2019-20 school year, yet standardized testing is still being required. We have to ask how valid these test results will be? What will actually be reflected in the scores? How fair will those results be in showing students’ success under these circumstances?”
Scherer, joined by almost 40 of her colleagues, signed the letter making the request that Illinois be exempt from the federal testing requirements due to the challenging circumstances to educate children, which has varied across Illinois school districts. The financial and emotional toll families have faced during COVID, combined with added homework, and virtual fatigue has led to severe distress by educators, parents, and students that will face standardized testing.
“Students across the United States are experiencing enough stress by what is going on in our world. They do not need the stress of a test with invalid results for which many have not had appropriate exposure to the content being tested,” said Scherer. “Although their education has been dramatically changed, the tests have not, nor is there time to rewrite and standardize them. We strongly urge Director Cardona of the U.S. Department of Education to exempt Illinois from these mandated tests in the best interest of our children and their futures.”