A different type of standardized test and a different school report card are coming to Illinois schools. The school report cards, starting next year, will no longer be based on a few days of standardized tests, but rather on more tests throughout the school year. The new tests will be better, says state Supt. Christopher Koch.
“Our students are no longer gonna be able to sit down and fill out a multiple choice test. That’s not the real world. That’s not what’s internationally benchmarked. They’ve gotta be able to apply knowledge,” he said.
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As for the teachers’ complaint that they’re only teaching what’s going to be on the test – well, Koch says you have to test what you teach.
The new school report cards will replace a system in use more than 25 years, and will provide more meaningful information, Koch says, such as the percentage of eighth-graders who pass algebra class, of freshmen who pass enough ninth-grade courses to stay on track to graduate and of high school graduates who are considered prepared for college classes.
Also highlighted will be the number and type of college-level Advanced Placement classes offered by high schools — a sign of the curriculum's rigor — as well as the availability of foreign language courses.