Illinois Review –

CHICAGO – Parents and state lawmakers are calling on the Illinois General Assembly to allow parents of public school students to have some say in their children’s education. They’re asking the legislature to allow them to opt out of state-mandated academic tests such as the controversial PARCC testing.

The State Board of Education notified schools that students themselves may refuse to take the PARCC tests, but no provision is in place for parents to opt their children out of the testing.

Illinois public and participating private schools will begin this week administering the PARCC testing associated with the “Common Core” curriculum. Beginning with grade 3, up to 20 hours of instructional time will be used to administer the required tests.

At the behest of frustrated parents, freshman State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) introduced HB 306 to allow parents to refuse the tests on behalf of their children. Guzzardi’s bill passed out of committee, and he and the bill’s co-sponsors are optimistic they will be able to gather the needed 60 votes to pass the bill out of the House.

“It’s not only the PARCC testing parents are concerned about. There’s a growing and widespread frustration with the broader regime of standardized tests,” Guzzardi said at a press conference Monday.

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