IASA Position Statements - Students

11.1 STUDENT ASSESSMENT - The IASA shall support legislation that will modify required State student assessments so testing does not go beyond what is required by federal law, and that prohibits the Illinois State Board of Education from pursuing activities designed to expand student assessment without legislative approval. Further, IASA shall support efforts to modify the Illinois and federal student assessment processes so that they will:

• reduce costs to schools, the state and therefore taxpayers;
• enhance student achievement;
• increase student instructional time and facilitate test score comparability within and across state lines;
• fairly test students who are English language learners so that their academic progress can be accurately assessed regardless of their fluency;
• return test results in a manner that will allow school districts to maximize student learning;
• comply with the federal accountability mandate tied to testing;
• maintain a needed emphasis on the Illinois Learning Standards; and
• develop a reporting process that reflects a school's progress beyond simply student assessment scores (1/09)

11.2 ISBE PROPOSED RULES REGARDING THE 11TH GRADE TESTING/ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUE – The IASA supports a rule that will require the testing of all students when they have taken and passed the required coursework to achieve 11th grade status. IASA further supports the reporting of all student scores as part of the cohort that takes the exam that spring. Whether a student takes three years or more, when they take the exam, ALL Student scores will be reported as a cohort for holding the school accountable for student performance. (09/10)

11.3 STANDARDIZED TEST PROCEDURES - The IASA shall urge the Illinois State Board of Education to contract with a national testing company to develop a state assessment test that will test the Illinois Standards on a yearly basis in compliance with, and only testing those areas required by, the "No Child Left Behind" Act. Further, the IASA shall support legislation to:

• require that the PSAE and ACT tests be given no earlier than April of each year with results received by local school districts no later than August 1 of that same year;
• acknowledge that assessments include both an annual overall performance measure as well as a system of local formative classroom-level assessments that are linked to desired standards;
• require that the ISAT test be given no earlier than March of each year with results received by local districts no later than August 1 of that same year;
• require that the test will remain the same for ten years with only changes in the test items to maintain security; and
• require that the cut scores be set before the test results are tabulated; leaving the score ranges the same from year to year and from grade to grade; and
• expedite and fully fund test development and implementation of an appropriate assessment instrument for English language learners. (1/09)

11.4 NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND - The IASA: 

• strongly disagrees with the premise that the quality and complexity of teaching and learning can be adequately and solely assessed by one achievement test given once during the school year;
• disagrees with the practice of assessing all schools with inconsistent standards allowed to be used by individual states to determine school accountability and adequate early progress;
• believes that the federal government has no constitutional authority to sanction local school districts; and
• believes that the current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability model for students with disabilities is not consistent with the goals of the new IDEA, as amended.

Therefore, the IASA shall work with the American Association of School Administrators and other coalitions to urge Congress and the Illinois General Assembly to:

• amend the provisions allowing for one high-stakes test to determine student achievement;
• remove the provisions for local school district sanctions per Section 103 of Public Law 96-88 (20 USC 3401) which created the U.S. Department of Education;
• focus on professional development for teachers and administrators;
• fully fund any requirements placed on local school districts;
• amend the Act to permit alternate assessments and other appropriate measures of achievement for students with disabilities as specifically addressed by the student's Individual Education Program (IEP);
• amend the Act to permit alternate assessments and other appropriate measures for English language learners, including but not limited to providing directions and question content in their most fluent language, or to allow removal of individual English language learners from the subgroup when no appropriate test at their language level exists;
• allow academic progress to be charted by comparing performance measures made at periodic intervals within cohorts of students rather than by comparing the grade level group test scores from year to year; and
• reject the adoption of an NCLB requirement that high school students be tested annually as the sole measure of academic achievement. (01/12)

11.5 STUDENT ACADEMIC PLACEMENT – The IASA shall support local school district and parent collaboration, evaluation and decision-making regarding the grade-level placement of students based upon their academic, social, and emotional maturity and readiness to advance. When parental advancement requests deviate from normal school advancement, school districts maintain the authority to evaluate and place students. (09/10)

11.6 MILITARY RECRUITMENT IN SCHOOLS - The IASA shall work with the American Association of School Administrators and other coalitions to urge Congress and the General Assembly of Illinois to, regarding the No Child Left Behind Act, replace the opt-out burden on parents with an opt-in provision with regard to the requirement of secondary schools to disclose student information to military recruiters. (10/05)

11.7 STUDENT EXPULSIONS - The IASA shall support legislation and/or encourage the American Association of School Administrators to support legislation that gives local school districts more latitude than the law currently mandated by Honeig v. Doe. Particularly, school districts should have more latitude than the 10 day suspension limitation to accommodate the needs of the accused to acquire legal counsel, bring forth evidence, or testimony pertinent to the hearing. (1/03)

11.8 CYBER-BULLYING DEFINITION – The IASA shall advocate for legislation that requires all Illinois public school districts’ "Policy on Bullying" to include a bullying definition, which includes “cyber-bullying”. School districts are encouraged to include a wide range of local education stakeholders in the establishment of the policy and to include in their policy specific provisions on bullying reporting requirements, investigation procedures, intervention options, and appropriate consequences. (2/12)

11.9 HOMELESS STUDENT TRANSPORTATION – The IASA shall support legislation conforming Illinois law with federal law, specifically related to 105 ILCS 45 and the requirement for school districts to transport homeless students beyond district boundaries. (2/13)


Updated – February 2013

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