Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 5901 and House Bill 6181, recently. House Bill 5901 will increase the transparency of school district testing information; and House Bill 6181 will provide teachers with more flexibility in earning and keeping their professional development hours.
While many experts agree that testing is an important part of teaching, there are concerns that “over-testing” students takes away instructional time. House Bill 5901 responds to the concerns about standardized tests and excessive testing of students. It will increase the transparency of school district testing information by requiring school districts to report information from the testing to the Illinois State Board of Education. This includes: the administration window, who is requiring the test, which grades are taking the test, which subsets of students are taking the test, the average time to take the test, and how the results from the test will be used.
House Bill 6181 is allowing educators to earn credit for the extra professional development hours, exceeding the required number needed during the last 3 months of their professional educator license. Instead of losing these hours, they can be rolled over into the next license renewal cycle. The purpose of this Bill is to encourage the teacher’s choice to receive professional development beyond what is required.
Governor Bruce Rauner said, “I’ve long said that teachers are our state’s most important resource as they are the ones entrusted with educating the next generation of leaders.” “These bills will help teachers with that awesome responsibility by removing bureaucratic red tape and encouraging them to continue to seek training and professional development and by addressing concerns that students are being ‘over-tested’ by requiring school districts to be more transparent about testing information.”
House Bills 5901 and 6181 are effective immediately.