Visit Illinois Board of Education website HERE for the latest new news about the rollout of the Common Core testing in Illinois.
Click HERE to read about how different racial groups of Illinois students will be held to different test score standards. This new system of standards was initiated in 2014 as part of the No Child Left Behind waiver agreement with the US Department of Education.
PARCC Field Test in 2014
Illinois is participating in a field test during the 2013-2014 school year.
List of schools participating in the field test HERE.
Illinois Board of Education PARCC Field Test fact sheet HERE
Illinois Board of Education Video about PARCC HERE
Parent PARCC field test handout HERE
What is the PARCC Assessment?
As part of the Race to the Top program, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a total of $330 million in September 2010 that will strengthen the hold that the federal government and special interests have on K-12 curriculum content, increase the frequency of standardized tests, diminish the importance of traditional classroom tests, and further marginalize the role of parents and teachers.
Illinois partnered with Common Core test consortium called: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)
Click HERE to see US map of states participation in Common Core assessment consortiums.
Click HERE and turn to page 253 to see the Illinois State Board of Education agreement to purchase the PARCC assessments through the PARCC consortium.
According to the Department of Education, PARCC will “replace the one end-of-year high stakes accountability test with a series of assessments throughout the year that will be averaged into one score for accountability purposes” (emphasis added)
All Common Core testing is administered on a computer, and the questions are very different than the multiple choice questions that students have traditionally seen.
In this Daily Herald article, suburban school districts send a letter to State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch asking that he delay PARCC another year. He admits that the test is designed to “drive instruction” and that the PARCC test is a fundamental change of philosophy in our schools.
In January 2014, the Illinois Dept. of Ed reported that only 60% of schools have the required infrastructure (computers & bandwidth) to administer the PARCC. Schools which do not meet these requirements will need to administer the paper and pencil version of the tests.
Look HERE and see an Illinois Department of Ed example of what the test will look like.
The Common Core testing has been delayed by one year and will be fully implemented in the 2013-2014 school year.
This assessment program has the stated goals of:
- Developing new standardized tests aligned with the Common Core Standards
- Testing students annually from third grade through high school
- Providing “ongoing feedback to teachers during the course of the school year” as well as measure annual student growth.
- Transition from paper and pencil to a computerized test
- Use student test scores to evaluate teacher performance
PARCC agreement with the US Department of Ed: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/parcc-cooperative-agreement.pdf
PARCC Computerized Assessments Guideline:
The cooperative agreement between U.S. Department of Education and the partnership offers some troubling terms:
Page 3, item 5: “Including, but not limited to working with the Department of Education to develop a strategy to make student level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis for research.”
Page 10, item 6: “The Grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level to Education Department or its designated program monitors, technical assistance providers or researcher partners.”
In short, the government wants to collect a dossier on every child, containing highly intrusive personal information, without asking permission or even notifying parents. If you are concerned with the federal government having complete access to your child’s personal information, contact your state and local school boards, governor, and state and federal legislators. Ask them to withdraw from the partnership.
U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announces Winners of Competition to Improve Student Assessments
Transmission of PARCC Testing Data
PARCC tests are owned and trademarked by a private company. Each state signed a contract with the PARCC consortium which requires the state to transmit the student testing data to PARCC for evaluation and research.
The PARCC consortium will make the data, including identifiable records, available to a variety of federal government agencies and research firms. Student data privacy laws have been loosened to allow for this data sharing and parents will not be notified. There is no clear process for amending or correcting data once it has been shared.
Great video which lays out the arguments against national standardized tests
Other Illinois Assessments
Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS)
The Illinois State Board of Education established a Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) Advisory Committee comprised of early childhood experts to guide the state department of education as it moves forward with recommendations for developing a comprehensive kindergarten readiness assessment process.
ISBE has selected the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS) as the contractor to provide services related to the development and administration of the Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS). KIDS is envisioned as a comprehensive process designed to provide information about children’s competencies across developmental domains over time and to inform whether Illinois’ kindergarteners have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in school. WestEd will develop KIDS by adapting the Desired Results Developmental Profile – School Readiness (DRDP-SR) to align with the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, the Illinois Learning Standards for Kindergarten, the Social and Emotional Learning Standards, and the New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The DRDP-SR is a comprehensive authentic assessment system that measures children’s progress toward desired outcomes. The WestEd website that you may access to read more about DRDP-SR ishttp://www.wested.org/desiredresults/training/.
KIDS is not a test nor is it a one-time snapshot of a student’s readiness at one point in time. The process involves observing kindergarten students over time, within the context of typical activities, such as English language development, self and social development, self-regulation, language and literacy development, and mathematical development. Results and observations will be recorded three times over the course of the school year.
In other words, the teacher will enter subjective data about kindergarteners into their student data file.
Currently, 64 school districts are piloting the new KIDS assessments.
Click HERE to learn more about the field test and see a list of the 64 school districts which are participating.
Description of kindergarten assessments and how they are aligned to Common Core: http://www.illinoiskids.org/sites/default/files/training_docs/Alignment%20of%20the%20DRDP-SR%20and%20Common%20Core%202013-02-14_Final%281%29.pdf