Tuesday, July 12, 2016

After all the threats and bullying of parents, IL dumps the PARCC

"I think the promise of PARCC is greater than the promise of most of the other assessments we’ve ever had. Kids can test to the edge of their knowledge." -- IL State Supt. Tony Smith in 2015.
Stunning reversal...After all the threats to students and parents who opted-out of the PARCC exam last year, ISBE now says, it's ditching the test for IL high schoolers altogether.

However, the move won't mean less time spent on high-stakes testing and test-prep for teachers as resisters have been demanding. Nor will it mean a shift towards authentic assessment and teacher evaluation. Just more pressure on students and more confusion for parents who still have no way to measure student growth from year to year as the SAT replaces PARCC as the test de jour. SAT unfortunately, gives no more information to teachers than PARCC did.

Miserable results from last year's PARCC tests.
The move comes after two years of PARCC testing in Illinois were highlighted by low scores and thousands of students skipping the tests and amid calls for more equitable access to college entrance exams. Students in third through eighth grade in Illinois will continue to take the PARCC tests.

The IL pull-out also badly weakens the consortium of states using the common math and English tests, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The exams are built around the so-called Common Core Standards which in fact are little more than a test-driven curriculum with companies like Pearson marketing the text books and designing faulty exams.

In 2015-16, only seven states out of the 20 original consortium members and the District of Columbia administered the exams. The Bureau of Indian Education and Department of Defense schools also still participates.

Remember BBB was critical of PARCC implementation and tried to delay last year's testing until she and the district were threatened by Gov. Rauner and Arne Duncan, with sanctions, including loss of $1.4 billion in federal funding. Rahm's hand-picked schools chief had asked CPS be allowed to give the PARCC  only to 11th-graders and a sampling of grade school students.

Now she's are her way to prison and PARCC won't be given to 11th-graders.

Ah, the sweet irony.

1 comment:

  1. As a resident of the state where the former chair of the PARCC board was simultaneously chair of the state board of education - Massachusetts (no conflict of interest, of course), I'm quite content to see yet another state ditch the PARCC.

    But here's something else - the SAT, which measures nothing at all, is to be used as an exit exam from high school - a purpose for which it is sublimely not intended. And, Illinois taxpayers foot the bill for all the high schoolers now compelled to sit for the exam, instead of the parents and students whose aspirations are to attend a college which requires SAT scores. I can hear the ka-ching of the College Board's coffers from afar.

    Christine Langhoff


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