Progress Illinois: Testing Opt-Out Bill Passes Illinois House

May 20, 2015

Legislation that would allow Illinois students to opt out of state assessment tests with written permission from a parent or guardian cleared the state House Tuesday.

The vote was 64-47-1.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) introduced the opt-out bill, HB 306, which still needs Senate approval. Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes the legislation and has said he would veto it.

The opt-out policy set by the state for standardized tests was a source of frustration for many parents across Illinois during the recent rollout of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test. Under current Illinois State Board of Education policy, parents cannot opt their children out of the PARCC test. Instead, students have to refuse to take the test themselves.

"This bill wouldn't take PARCC away. Opt-out's happening, it happened last year, it happened this year, it will happen next year whether we pass this bill or not," Guzzardi said, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. "All this bill does is create a clear process and take the student out of the role as the decision maker."