New assessment testing for students grades 3-8 - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New assessment testing for students grades 3-8

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WSIL -- Starting this Spring, students in 3rd-8th grade will no longer take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

The Illinois State Board of Education has decided to make a switch to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness after three years of students taking PARCC. 

Rae Clementz, Director of Assessment & Accountability for the Illinois State Board of Education, says the change comes after talking to educators about their needs. 

"The Illinois Assessment of Readiness takes and builds on the foundation of the PARCC items, but works to integrate improvements that are responsive to things that we've heard that are valued in our field," Clementz explains. 

Changes will be made slowly over three years, most noticeable this year, is that testing time will be reduced by about a third. 

Vienna Superintendent Joshua Stafford is looking forward to more time in the classroom and less time taking tests, "In our biggest grade school, it was taking nearly three weeks to start and finish PARCC." 

In addition to a shorter test time, teachers will also get test results back months sooner.

Stafford says assessment testing takes place in the spring, and teachers would receive PARCC scores halfway through the following school year ,"We had data that we didn't get back in time for it to be meaningful in any way to help us improve what we're doing in classrooms." 

By 2020, all schools will be required to give the test online, so that the following year the test itself can change. Questions will get more or less advanced depending on the student's performance.

Stafford says this will allow teachers to better understand how well a student has mastered certain skills, "We need to meet that student that child at where their needs is."

However, there could be some challenges for schools needing additional computers and concerns about reliable internet.

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