McGee Asks Families to Help Prepare Students for ISAT Testing

March 26, 2001

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The third round of Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISATs) is about to begin and State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee is calling on families to help students prepare for the challenging tests.

“ISAT tests are based on the rigorous Illinois Learning Standards,” McGee said.  “Schools are preparing students for the academic challenges, but families need to help students prepare by assuring that they have good nutrition and plenty of sleep during the testing period.

“Students can not study for the ISATs since they are cumulative measures of the achievement of the Standards,” McGee emphasized, “but getting a good night’s sleep and starting the day with a nutritious breakfast can have an enormous impact on success on the tests.”

McGee noted that many Illinois schools offer breakfast programs for students throughout the school year.

The period of April 2 – 13 is designated for ISAT administration.  Students in grades three, five and eight in all public schools will take ISAT tests in Reading, Mathematics and Writing.  Students in grades four and seven will take ISAT tests in Science and Social Science.  In all, about 750,000 students will take ISAT tests during the testing period.

All schools that are in session must give the tests during that period.  If a school has scheduled a spring break during that period, districts may be authorized to either begin testing this week and end by April 6 or begin the week of April 9 and end by April 20.

The Prairie State Achievement Test, which measures student progress on the Illinois Learning Standards in reading, writing, mathematics, science and social science, will be taken by all eleventh-grade students April 25 and 26.

One of the most comprehensive public-involvement efforts in setting policies for what students should know and be able to do, the development of the Illinois Learning Standards by the State Board of Education included the input of over 28,000 Illinois citizens.  Legislation required the State Board of Education to adopt learning standards in language arts, mathematics, science, social science, physical development and health, and fine arts.

The Illinois Learning Standards were adopted by the State Board in 1997.   To learn more about the ISAT testing program or the Illinois Learning Standards, log onto the State Board's website (