In the latest controversy over state exams, Illinois is in hot water with the federal government for not administrating statewide science tests this school year.
Failure to give the exams is a violation of the law, according to a stern letter from the U.S. Department of Education, and the Illinois State Board of Education has been placed in what the federal agency calls “high-risk status” for not complying with testing requirements.
The letter dated April 20 states that the board must come up with a plan and timeline by June 30 to come into compliance and give the science assessments in 2015-16.
“We’re working on our plan to provide a science assessment in 2015-16 and will submit it to the U.S. Department of Education by June 30, per the letter,” board spokeswoman Mary Fergus said Wednesday in an email to the Tribune.
* From the letter…
Due to the significance of its non-compliance and the fact that the pilot assessments administered in 2014–2015 will not result in information about student performance that can be shared with parents and teachers to inform instruction, I am placing ISBE on high-risk status under 34 C.F.R. § 80.12.
ISBE must fully implement its new science assessments in SY 2015−16 to come into compliance with section 1111(b)(3)(A) of the ESEA and 34 C.F.R. § 200.2(a)(1). As a condition of its high-risk status, the ISBE must provide a detailed plan and timeline to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) by June 30, 2015, in order to address this non-compliance issue for SY 2015–2016.