January 23, 2008

Chicago To Translate State Asssessments

“Chicago Public School officials volunteered Thursday to pay at least $120,000 to translate the state math and science exams into Spanish, to help students who have limited-English language skills.

In years past, those children took the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English in math and reading. Those exams are written in English but have fewer and easier questions than the regular state achievement exams.

But after a two-year battle with state officials, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that the IMAGE test -- initially created to measure language acquisition -- does not adequately assess math and reading skills.

Federal officials said that unless the state could come up with a better exam for these students, the children must take the grade school Illinois Standards Achievement Tests or the high school Prairie State Achievement Exam, or the state would risk losing federal money.

As a compromise, Chicago officials offered to create an audio translation for the major tests,” reports the Chicago Tribune.