The New PARCC is Here!

The PARCC assessment will allow parents to engage in their child’s education. It’s sometimes difficult for parents to measure whether or not their child is learning what they need to know to succeed in the future. The new assessments will provide parents with more information about how their child is progressing in school.

These new assessments will replace outdated and ineffective tests with new tests that measure real world skills that colleges and employers say they value – like critical thinking and problem solving.

For more information on PARCC, see the information below or visit the PARCC Website at www.parcconline.org

Resources

PARCC Field Test

ISAT Cut Scores Have Changed!

As your child’s educators, we strive to give your student the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in the future, whether that includes college, a career or both.

The need to prepare our students for advanced schooling has led Illinois schools, including our building, to start implementing the Common Core State Standards. These new standards outline the skills and content our students must master in Math and English Language Arts at each grade level to continue on the path to college and career readiness. 

These higher and clearer standards require changes in what we teach and how we teach it. Your students will also be required to learn in different ways.

Therefore, the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), an exam that measures success in meeting the state standards, must be changed accordingly.

The state has determined that the expectations in the current state standards for our students in grades 3-8 are too low and do not give an accurate picture of a student’s ability to succeed in college and the workforce. Therefore, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is raising the bar on the ISAT performance expectations in Math and English Language Arts for elementary and middle school students.

These higher expectations will cause the number of students who meet and exceed standards to drop significantly. Some students who previously met or exceeded standards will instead show the need for improvement. However, these new expectations do not mean that our students know less than they did before or are less capable than they were in previous years. Instead, ISBE is simply expecting more of students going forward to show their progress toward college and career-readiness targets.

As we receive the results of the revised statewide tests, our staff will be able to provide the appropriate support and help for your student based on the new learning standards at an earlier point in their schooling.

The new expectations also pave the way for the state to replace the ISAT tests in Math and English Language Arts with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The PARCC exams will line up with the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the appropriate skills and content for college and careers. Unlike the ISAT, which is given once a year, the PARCC tests will be given more than once during the school year. We believe the exam will give us a more detailed picture of students’ strengths and areas that need improvement. The new PARCC tests are scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

Later this year, the state will provide us with information regarding how our students’ 2012 ISAT scores compare to what is expected under the new performance levels. The ISAT data collected this spring on the 2013 ISAT tests will be analyzed using the new expectations and released in the fall.

Though more difficult, these higher standards will better position students to tackle the challenges of college and careers. With these new tools and standards – and with your help – we are confident that our students will rise to the occasion.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or principal with any questions and concerns. We are prepared to help all students and parents understand what is expected and what help is available to meet those expectations.

For more resources regarding the new ISAT cut scores, CLICK HERE!