Illinois is one of 17 states that plan to implement the Partnership of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) next school year. It’s a test that’s tied to the Common Core standards. Students will take it annually on computers and answers will be more involved than past assessments required. James Applegate, head of the state’s board of higher education, says PARCC will be positive for student achievement.
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“Countries that are actually far exceeding us in education progress are using these kinds of assessments so they can, as the superintendent indicated, really focus on what students need to succeed,” he said. Opponents of the assessments and standards include the Chicago Teacher’s Union – which says they add undue stress for students and teachers. Still, unless the legislature changes course or postpones implementation, PARCC is scheduled to replace the Illinois Standards Achievement Test next school year.
Some legislators are hoping to postpone implementation. “A lot of people are asking for a delay, and there’s no reason why members of our General Assembly cannot ask the (Obama) administration for the delay, and not risk losing our money,” said State Rep. David Reis (R-Willow Hill).