Chicago Students Stop Test Misuse

K-12 Testing

The Organized Students of Chicago (OSC), who oppose that city's test-driven public school "reform" program, have persuaded the School Reform Board to stop one of its test misuses.


At an April Board meeting, two OSC members challenged the city to stop the practice in which high school students' scores on the Tests of Academic Proficiency (TAP) are posted next to their names on the student roster each teacher receives. OCS charged that this causes teachers to treat students differently, often with harmful consequences.


At a June meeting, the Board agreed to stop this use of the test results. Other advocates are now looking into whether a similar misuse occurs with the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), which are administered in elementary and middle school (Examiner, Spring 1999).


The OSC began with a group of students who intentionally failed the Illinois sate tests this past winter. The students have since been active on a range of testing issues, including misuse of tests, too much testing, and tests' control over curriculum and instruction and resulting standardization. OSC held a demonstration on May 25 at the Board's office and has obtained over 1000 signatures on a petition against the city's testing program, which the students presented to the Board. OSC will continue its organizing over the summer, including an early July student forum.