Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials said on Tuesday that the
district will scale down the number of tests it requires students to
The move comes in response to focus
groups held by the district, during which parents, the Chicago Teachers
Union (CTU), principals and others called for a reduction in testing in
order to free up more classroom instructional time. State mandated
tests, however, will still continue on as normal.
According to CPS, kindergarten through second graders will no longer have to take the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (NWEA MPG) assessment during the spring and fall.
through eighth graders will not take the NWEA Measures of
Academic Progress (MAP) test in the fall, but they will have to take it in
the spring. The EXPLORE test for ACT preparation will no longer be
administered to eighth graders. The fall session of Explore, Plan, ACT (EPAS) for ninth through 11th graders will also be eliminated.
CTU President Karen Lewis said she was pleased with the district's decision to cut back on standardized testing.
had this discussion with Barbara very early in her tenure and she did
agree there were too many tests -- that’s the good news,” Lewis told the
Chicago Sun-Times. “Our concern is not even the number of tests. ...
Our concern is what are the tests being used for. Tests are being used
for purposes they weren’t designed for.”
The move is expected to trim the district's standardize testing budget by $2.4 million compared to last year.
we are doing though was not a money issue when we were looking at this
initially,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told the newspaper. “It was
really about a best practice for kids and what gives teachers maximum
instruction time and responding to the overwhelming cry by parents and
teachers that this district in fact over tested youngsters.”