Making the grade just got a little more difficult. The Illinois Student Achievement Test, better known as the ISAT, will be more challenging for elementary and middle school students. Third through eighth grade students take the test once a year.
It measures student achievement in math and reading. Some parents think the changes might cause more harm than good. Marcy Mckillip spent her day with her six year old son. He is too young to take the ISAT right now, but when he does it’s not going to be any easier.
“Why should a third grader be taking the ISAT test? I mean there’s no reason for it,” says Marcy.
The Illinois State Board of Education announced that they will be changing the test. The previous format doesn’t align with the new Common Core State Standards, so the board is setting the bar higher for students to achieve.
“I think it puts a lot of stress on them. Not all children test the same, so the ones that are really nervous and everything, that will probably make their scores lower rather than what it would be normally for them,” says grandmother Gloria Martins.
Students who would normally score high on the test will now be classified as needing improvement and their ranking will drop.
“That just brings the scores down and then you know your schools are going to be in a danger zone, so it’s just, it doesn’t make sense, either way around,” says Marcy.
Although the test will be harder, it’s supposed to benefit students. This will help school districts know whether or not kids are on the right track for college and careers.