Assemblywoman Woerner Works to Protect Local Decision-Making in Education

Recognizing that our local schools are in the best position to evaluate our teachers and principals, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced that a measure she sponsored to protect local control while providing accountability and shine new light on the testing process has passed the Assembly (A.7303-A).

“Teachers, principals, and school administrators go the extra mile to ensure our children are prepared to succeed in the global economy,” Assemblywoman Woerner said. “We must continue to empower them so they can make the decisions that are right for our kids and our community.”

The proposed legislation would delink teacher evaluations from school funding allocated in the state budget. It also would extend the deadline for districts to fully implement the new evaluation process by one year. This will ensure that schools receive the funding they need, and have proper time to develop appropriate review standards for teachers and principals.

The bill would also require the creation of a content review committee to ensure that exams are grade level appropriate and would also take into account factors such as disabilities, poverty status, and English language learner status for students when determining state growth scores in order to ensure fairness in the implementation of standards. To foster transparency in testing, the measure would also require the release of a significant amount of the test questions and answers from each of the grade 3-8 ELA/Math assessments.

This year, many schools saw a high percentage of their students opt-out from Common Core testing due to the concerns of many parents across the state with over-testing. As a result, the US Department of Education has threatened to withhold funding for certain schools with low student participation in testing. In response, the Assembly passed a resolution recognizing parents’ legitimate concerns, while urging the federal government to continue investing in our state’s schools and not withhold vital funding (K.523).

“Every day, I’m fighting for our community’s schools,” said Assemblywoman Woerner. “These measures will protect our students and teachers from unfair testing while ensuring they get the resources they need to thrive.”