Preliminary scores from the new standardized test for some of Illinois’ grade school and high school students aren’t great, says State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. But it doesn’t indicate the state’s students or schools are failing.
Early scores from only online tests show that a only a third of students did well in English and language arts with just over a quarter passing math.
Smith said the numbers should provide a baseline and the tests will prove to be a good tool for teachers and parents alike.
“They want to know, ‘What can I do? When am I going to get information that’s going to help me help my kids?'” he says. “And that’s what teachers want too. So, I have every reason to believe that PARCC is going to get better the more we do this work.”
Though he said he’s not a staunch opponent of the tests, Democratic Representative Will Guzzardi said the exam is far too fresh a standardized test for the state to trust right now.
“There’s a lot that’s unproven about this test. There hasn’t been any publicly released validity studies of the test to show that it actually does, the scores actually reflect anything meaningful. I think we really want to see that kind of data from Pearsons before we trusted this test anymore than we already do.”
Guzzardi has a bill to allow for parents to opt their children out of the exam that passed the House but remains in a Senate committee. The Democrat hopes the State Board of Education can rework their rules to allow for an opt out system without the law.
A letter Superintendent Smith posted late last week said principals and teachers should know the PARCC (park) results are only one of many factors in their accountability system.
Illinois News Network