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Illinois law does not require individual students to be tested, and so some parents outside of Chicago have opted their children out of the state test, the Illinois Standards Achievement Test or ISAT. (see Useful Links below)

However, in Chicago, a student can be held back a grade if he or she does not take the ISAT, since CPS uses the ISAT score to make promotion decisions in the elementary grades. Parents who might want to opt their children out of the ISAT run the risk of CPS forcing the child to attend summer school or be flunked.

Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), a Chicago-based parent group, has filed discrimination complaints with the U. S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) against the Chicago Public Schools student promotion policy. Research has shown that the policy has not worked and has harmed students, especially African-American students. A 1999 OCR complaint led to other measures being added to the policy, but PURE found that those measures have been used as multiple barriers, not multiple measures. A December 2010 OCR complaint is still under investigation. Please see the link below for a copy of PURE's 2010 complaint which includes a lot of information about testing in Chicago and Illinois.

[Source: Parents and Kids Against Standardized Testing - Discussion - Illinois]

Useful Links


PURE's 2010 Office for Civil Rights Complaint: