CHICAGO – The State of Illinois will be prohibited from financially supporting standardized tests for young students under a new law spearheaded by state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, and state Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago.
“Formal testing procedures do not effectively measure what our youngest students under the age of 8 can or cannot do,” LaPointe said. “Instead, these tests inappropriately change classroom focus and can be a cause of inequity in our education system. This new law will help redirect classroom attention toward more proven learning strategies.”
LaPointe and Pacione-Zayas’ Senate Bill 3986 creates the “Too Young to Test Act.” Under the measure, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is specifically prohibited from developing, purchasing or requiring a school district to administer, develop or purchase a standardized assessment for students in grade levels prekindergarten through second grade, unless for diagnostic or screening purposes. The proposal came in response to consideration from ISBE to begin testing younger grades in math and reading, despite education advocates, including the Illinois Families for Public Schools, noting that young children develop rapidly in fits and starts, making standardized tests unreliable.
“I appreciate Senator Pacione-Zayas’ leadership on this topic, and I’m thankful for the hard work parents, teachers and advocates put toward reaching this moment,” LaPointe said. “We must continue to focus on learning strategies that are evidence-based, and ensure that all students – regardless of background – receive the attention and investment they deserve to succeed.”