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Illinois Parent Group Pushes State to Delay Common-Core Testing

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A Chicago-area parent advocacy group has asked the Illinois State Board of Education to put off administering tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards for a year. 

Leaders from the group, Raise Your Hand for Public Education in Illinois, also are lobbying state lawmakers to draft an opt-out bill to give parents the right to choose whether their children take the assessments, developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. Two state lawmakers are poised to introduce opt-out legislation in January, according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Raise Your Hand's website shows that the group has collected more than 4,000 signatures on its petition asking the state board to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to postpone testing this school year. Members of the group presented copies of the petition to state board members Nov. 21, according to the Sun-Times story.

"The PARCC [assessment] isn't ready for our children, and our schools aren't ready with the technology and/or the new curriculum and standards that are required for this test," a statement on Raise Your Hand's website reads. "The test is too long, too expensive, and hasn't been shown to be valid and reliable."

Despite parents' concerns, state Superintendent Christopher Koch told the newspaper that the PARCC test would be administered as scheduled. He added that Illinois could lose federal funding if it granted the Chicago Public Schools' repeated requests to delay PARCC testing.

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