...and by "horn," I mean computer.
There's another excellent bill pending in the House compliments of Linda Chapa LaVia. It has a hearing next Wednesday, March 20th, and as we've learned, it's really, really helpful to fill out a witness slip before a hearing.
The witness slip is your way of going on record during the hearing, which is sort of the most important time to go on record. When you fill out a witness slip, you can simply declare yourself as a proponent or an opponent, and doing so is infinitely better than doing nothing.
I'm going to show you the bill, show you how I would fill out the witness slip, show you how to take it one step further, and then beg you to move on this bill right now.
Here's the bill, HB5330.
The official synopsis:
Basically, it's a bill that requires "to create a permanent committee to review the nature and content of state-required tests, the effectiveness of the tests in achieving educational goals, the effects of poverty on test scores - a host of excellent questions," --- which is how the great Jim Broadway summarizes it.
In this age of rampant over-testing, and test-bullying, and test worship, and horrifically wrong-headed narratives being spun out of test data, and whole bureaucracies built around a constant testing cycle, it's an excellent bill. You should absolutely fill out a witness slip for it.
Check out the text of the bill--- look who's on the permanent committee, according to the language.
That's a bill that Illinois needs. Here's me, filling out my actual witness slip for it, which you should also do immediately. It makes no sense to try to fill one out after the hearing.
So how do you submit written testimony? It's actually pretty easy. It's a two-step process. 1. Write your testimony 2. Fax your clearly labeled testimony to the House Committee Clerk at FAX # 217-557-2165 before the hearing. There is no clear deadline for submission, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Submit early. You can also mail or express mail your testimony to the same office:
House Clerk Committee
Illinois State House, Room 426
401 S. Second Street
Springfield, Illinois 62076
We have so, so many parents with detailed knowledge of the scourge of over-testing; it would be a shame if the committee didn't hear from you first hand. Because they're going to hear first hand from the lobbyists from Stand For Children, or Pearson, or Michelle Rhee's corrupt outfit, or the Steans family, or from whomever else, about how fabulous testing is for everyone and about how your kids should just suck it up and fill in the bubbles all day, every day because of data and global something.
Remember, the legislators have a completely skewed understanding of all these issues. They get their information from Illinois Policy Institute and other lobbyists. They think you're thrilled with Race To The Top.
This is not a format for petitions or for pre-prepared texts. Write your own testimony; otherwise, it's a waste of time. Here's an example of what I would consider to be a clear label and an appropriate beginning.
Don't have a fax machine? Yes you do. If you're reading this on a computer, you have a fax. Don't make me make a video about how to use it, because I will. I will.
That's it! Please fill out a witness slip! Or even better, write down what you've seen and fax it in. We really can't expect Linda Chapa LaVia to carry this load by herself; let's give her some backup right now.