This session the IL General Assembly is considering an opt out bill, HB 306. The bill is intended to clarify parental rights around opting children out of state-mandated standardized testing. Parents would be able to notify schools in writing that their child was opting out of any state-mandated standardized testing. The child would be provided with an alternative educational activity during test. There would be no negative consequences for students, families, teachers, administrators, schools or districts.
The Illinois State Board of Education does not recognize a parent’s right to make this decision for the child. Children, even those who are not capable of verbally refusing, are expected to refuse testing in Illinois.
HB306 passed the IL House in May 2015; now it needs to pass the IL Senate.
Please make sure your state senator knows that you want them to support this bill. (If they are already listed as a sponsor, call and thank them for their support.)
Contact information for them can be found here.
Here’s a sample script:
“Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent and voter who has kids in the public schools. I’m very concerned about the PARCC test and the way high-stakes testing has impacted our schools overall. I would like to know if Rep _____ would co-sponsor HB306, the opt out bill. Six other states already have laws which gives parents a voice in the important decision of whether their child takes a state mandated test. Currently in Illinois, children are told they have to refuse the test and parents have no voice in this important matter. Please ask Rep___ to support this bill.
[If needed:] No state has ever lost federal funding due to having an opt out law in place or due to students opting out of tests. More than 50,000 students opted out in New York State last spring.”
If you are interested in working with us to get this bill passed, email us and include your street address so we can connect you with your elected officials and with other constituents in your district: firstname.lastname@example.org