This is the time you're hearing a lot about PARCC – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC is the test which Illinois students are taking in place of ISAT. Twelve states and the District of Columbia are giving it, with testing here divided between March and May. Members of an Illinois House education committee heard plenty of testimony about it.

“We do not have another test,” Illinois' new secretary of education, Beth Purvis, said to discourage districts from blowing off the new test. “If we do not have a 95 percent participation rate, we are at risk for significant sanctions from the U.S. Department of Ed.”


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“My third-grade son will be writing,” marveled Williamsfield superintendent Tim Farquer, happy to lead the cheers for PARCC for local school leaders. “That's a valuable use of his time. He's going to be conducting research. He's going to be doing math problems worth solving.”

Not sold: State Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie). “My goodness, the Affordable Care Act's been delayed 23 times. I don't know why we can't give school districts a little more time to work this in,” he told the educators. “I don't know why we don't phase it in. My son's a senior and has only been exposed to Common Core for two years. Why didn't we start this in the elementary grades and let our technology catch up? All those requests were ignored.”

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