30 seconds to help me pass my first bill!

If all goes according to plan, my first bill will be before committee this week. And it’s a major one — it would give parents the right to opt their students out of state standardized testing.

As you may have heard (especially if you have a child in CPS), the state is rolling out a new test this year, called the PARCC. The rollout has been a mess for a number of reasons, and it comes at a time when many parents justifiably feel that the regime of standardized testing has become far too burdensome and is taking away from much-needed instructional time.

Right now, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what rights parents and students have as far as opting out of these tests. The result of that uncertainty during last year’s testing cycle was students being pulled out of class and interrogated without their parents’ knowledge.

So I’ve filed HB 306 to give clarity on this issue. The bill follows many other states, including California, Utah, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, in giving parents the right to opt their students out of state standardized tests.

If you agree that test prep is crowding out real learning, that our kids deserve a robust and well-rounded education, and that parents ought to be able to push back against the regime of standardized testing, please take 30 seconds to file a witness slip in support of this bill! (Committee members see all the slips that have been filed on each bill, and an overwhelming number of supporters goes a long way.)

Here’s how:

1. Go to tiny.cc/ILoptout
2. Fill out the personal information in Section I (Identification)
3. Skip Section II (Representation)
4. In Section III (Position), click "Proponent"
5. In Section IV (Testimony), click "Record of Appearance Only" (unless you're planning on coming down to Springfield to testify!)

Once you’re done, share the link (tiny.cc/ILoptout) by email, Facebook, and Twitter and encourage your friends to support it as well! 

If you have questions about the bill, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or leave a comment below. I’d be happy to discuss it in greater detail.