Legislators will hear testimony on controversial school testing requirements

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is the new state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. PARCC assesses the New Illinois Learning Standards incorporating Common Core and will be administered to students in English-Language Arts and Mathematics. Many school districts are reluctant to accept the PARCC exam and want more time to ensure students are ready to take the tests - but they risk federal funding if they don't comply.

The House committee on Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies will be hearing subject matter testimony on PARCC Assessments next Wednesday, February 25 at 4 p.m. in Hearing Room 114 in the Capitol Building.

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, more than 40 downstate superintendents have asked the state superintendent to delay PARCC testing, saying "the testing initiative has moved too fast, is ill-planned, does not support the basic tenets of quality formative assessment such as validity and reliability, is consuming vast and valuable resources (both human and monetary) at the district level, and, most importantly, will not truly benefit our students."

PARCC assessments in English-Language Arts and Mathematics would be administered to all students in grades 3-8, according to their current grade level. At the high school level, students enrolled in English III will be assessed in English Language Arts, students enrolled in Algebra II / Math III will be assessed in mathematics, and students enrolled in both English III and Algebra II / Math III will be assessed in English Language Arts and mathematics, regardless of grade level. On December 1, 2014, ISBE announced an option for grades 9-12 PARCC testing.