How ready are Illinois school children for "what's coming?"  That's how the head of the Illinois State Board of Education describes the results in the newest state assessment test called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).

State Superintendent Tony Smith says based on the one-million kids that took it, almost a third met or exceeded standards in the exam designed to test readiness for careers, school achievement, and college, but Smith says, more needs to be done.

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"It's our time, as a pre-school through 12 organization, to own our responsibility and commit to preparing kids well for the future," Smith says.  "We have got to get kids ready for what's coming."

Smith says he's visited 60 school districts and most are concerned about how to make PARCC work.  He says many kids are remarkable in how they're learning, and teachers can be more intentional in their instruction.

"The work that individual districts have done, individual communities, letters I read from individual principals, the way they've done at the site level, and in some districts, community meetings about understanding this moment, I think we really have to stay focused on what does this data help us understand," says Smith.


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