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100 + unnecessary tests

The testing schedule in the Chicago public schools varies by school and area. The testing schedule in the Chicago public schools varies by school and area. What follows, though, is a typical schedule, as specified on the CPS research and evaluation website. To know exactly which tests will be administered at their school, parents need to ask the principal.

Elementary schools

Pre-K: Teaching Strategies Gold, 3 times a year and KRT (Kindergarten Readiness Test) in spring

K–2 or K-3: DIBELS or ISEL or STEP early literacy assessment series, individually administered in the fall, winter and spring, more often (every two weeks) if student doesn’t meet benchmarks

3–8: ISAT, reading and math tests, (science tests in grades 4, 7), administered in late winter over nine days

2-8 or 3-8: Scantron Performance Series computerized reading, math, science tests administered in the fall, winter and spring (and/or) 3-8 CPS Reading and Math Benchmark Assessments, by ETS administered 3 times a year

7-8: District Wide Writing Assessment (DWWA)

8: EXPORE reading, English, math, science and reasoning tests, administered in the fall

English Language Learners

K-8: English Language Learners take the ACCESS, a multiple choice test for listening, reading, and writing, and individual speaking test, administered in the winter

Source: http://research.cps.k12.il.us/export/sites/default/accountweb/Assessment/Elementary_Assessments_Calendar_v7.pdf

Some schools testing more

In some elementary schools students take more tests. Some schools, depending on the area, administer additional standardized tests as often as every five weeks. These tests and the testing schedule are not on the Board’s research and evaluation website. Some schools administer the MAP, KLT, area-created 5-week assessments, Riverside (aka AchieveData or DataDirector, a 5-week area assessment), or other 5-week assessments created by other outside vendors, in addition to the above elementary school schedule.

High schools

The testing schedule varies by school and area. Chief Area Officer Rick Mills determined a schedule for the schools in Area 26. His plan calls for students to take 63 standardized tests before they take the two-day PSAE in the spring of their junior year.

Area 26 Schedule, 9th grade

Scantron Performance Series, algebra and English, administered in the fall, winter, spring

EXPLORE, reading, English, math, science and reasoning tests, administered in the fall and winter

PLAN, reading, English, math, science and reasoning tests, administered in the spring

Work Keys practice test, reading for information, applied math, ISBE developed science tests, administered in winter and spring

10th grade

PLAN reading, English, math, science and reasoning tests administered in the fall

ACT practice test, reading, English, math, science and tests, administered in winter and spring

Work Keys practice test, reading for information, applied math, ISBE developed science tests administered in winter and spring

11th grade

ACT practice test, reading, English, math, science and tests, administered in the fall, winter and spring

Work Keys practice test, reading for information, applied math, ISBE developed science tests, administered in the fall, winter and spring

PSAE, Day One: ACT, reading, English, math, science and writing tests, administered in the spring

PSAE, Day Two: Work Keys, reading for information, applied math, ISBE developed science tests, administered in the spring

Additional tests

9– 12 English Language Learners take the ACCESS, a multiple choice test for listening, reading, and writing, individual speaking test, given in the winter

Some Chicago high schools using an outside vendor’s IDS curriculum (Instructional Delivery System) administer CPS quarterly exams, 2-day multiple choice and constructed response tests in math, English and science, in the fall, winter and spring

Source: Area 26 reports and http://research.cps.k12.il.us/export/sites/default/accountweb/Assessment/High_School_Assessments_Calendar_v7.pdf 

See other stories on this topic:

Students opt out of CPS tests

"It's the right thing to do": Q and A with Sam Schmidt

100+ unecessary tests (CPS testing schedule)

How to opt out

[Editor's Note: The article above (and three others linked in this article) originally appeared in the February 2011 print edition of Substance]. 



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