The results from the PARCC exam are in and they’re consistent with the low expectations the state’s schools Superintendent Tony Smith anticipated back in September, when, in a letter to school administrators, he cautioned against using the “results to shame teachers or schools.”
“We need to celebrate the good work our teachers and schools are doing to teach the new content our children must have for success in the future,” Smith wrote at the time.
The test, which stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is aligned with the more rigorous Common Core standards. Last spring, students across the state took the new exam for the first time, but many parents and students met the test with alarm.
Due to a variety of reasons, including the glitches in the test’s delivery, many parents opted out of allowing their students to take the exam. Nearly 11 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools sat out the test, which some administrators believe may have influenced the district’s overall performance.
In Illinois, only 33 percent of students met or exceeded the PARCC’s more rigorous standards, while 52 percent partially met, or approached, those standards. In comparison, 25 percent of students in CPS met or exceeded the new standards, while 56 percent of students partially met, or approached, those students.
According to information on the Illinois Report Card, the low results connected to the new exam “may seem lower the first few years, since some content varies from previous tests and PARRC asks questions in different ways.”
“Students must now show or explain their work and defend their reasoning. A student who was performing well on the previous tests might not do as well on the new PARCC test, while another student might perform better than before. This first year’s PARCC scores will set a new baseline showing where students excel and where they need additional support.”
For more information on how your child’s school performed on PARCC, click here.