Chicago Public Schools is requesting to extend the pilot of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) before implementing it district-wide. The PARCC, if implemented, would replace the paper-based ISATs and will be administered on computers and tablets.
Illinois is one of 13 states using the computer-based testing, which is aligned with the new Common Core State Standards; to be sure students are on the right path to college and careers beyond that.
Today, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said she'd be requesting the state allow the district to continue with a pilot study of PARCC, before fully implementing it district-wide.
“I firmly believe in tests, I actually do,” Byrd-Bennett said. “But I also believe that as a teacher and as a practitioner and as a principal, they were most useful to me when I understood what I needed to do for children.”
The group had a number of concerns, some of which the Byrd-Bennett shares, like students not being fully prepared since Common Core standards aren't fully implemented at all schools, and the extensive time it takes just to give and take the test which can disrupt learning and (for some high school students) AP testing is scheduled to happen at the same time as PARCC testing.
Raise Your Hand listed three recommendations regarding CPS’ plans to roll out PARCC testing.
- Delay the PARCC until the test is improved and validated through additional field testing
- Continue the use of other nationally normed reading/math tests in 2014-15, such as MAP/ACT
- Move ACT high school testing back to its original date in April (currently early March)
Some of the parents who spoke on that at today's meeting said they were glad to hear the CEO make this request to delay the test at least until field testing results are back.