Illinois is one of 46 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards, commonly referred to as the Core Curriculum. To better understand what students are learning through the new curriculum, schools are changing their testing measures.
Illinois is moving away from the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) and instituting the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing. The PARCC will measure higher-order skills, such as critical thinking, communicating effectively and problem solving. Students grades three through 12 will be tested in English language arts/literacy and math. ISAT also tested students in science, but at this time PARCC is not testing science proficiency.
The PARCC is a major shift from traditional multiple choice tests. For example, in language arts students will be asked to read a text, write a short essay about the text and analyze what information was given in the text. In math, students will solve complex problems, show their work and demonstrate how they solved the problem.
It is believed the PARCC tests will give a clearer and more accurate picture of student achievement.
The intention is to eventually have all Illinois children take the PARCC tests on computer. Tests can be administered four times a year. Three of those tests are considered assessments to help teachers recognize what students learned over an 8-10 week period. The final results from the spring test will replace the ISAT measurements released annually as a “school report card” by the Illinois State Board of Education.
To learn more about the PARCC testing program, or review sample tests, visit PARCColine.org.
Homewood Schools among the first in Illinois to move from paper testing to computer (The Chronicle, Jan. 1, 2015)
Contact Marilyn Thomas at [email protected]