Some Kids Might Boycott the ISAT

February 12, 2008

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Some Latino parents in Chicago's Logan Square community are threatening to have their children boycott the state standard test next month. They're worried that students who speak limited English will do poorly on the test, and they're not alone.

State Senator Iris Martinez doesn't think the Illinois State Board of Education is doing enough to prepare English Language Learners, or ELL students for the ISAT exam. So she introduced a resolution requesting the federal government to allow the ELL students to take the easier IMAGE exam one last time.

MARTINEZ: All we're asking is for a one year extension to make sure that we can prepare our kids and that the state board of education can prepare some kind of exam that meets with the federal standards.

Martinez expects action to be taken on the proposal this week.

Meanwhile parents like Martha Juarez say her kids will stay home if there isn't a suitable test for limited English speakers.

A spokesman for the Board of Education says the state's providing ample accommodations, offering translation help and allowing more test time.