Preliminary PARCC results released

Preliminary statewide results from last spring’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Exam (PARCC) were released this week, causing concern for some as a number of Illinois students fell short of expectations. State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith, however, stressed that these results should serve as a baseline for schools and student and cautions against using them to “shame or punish” anyone.

The PARCC exam, based on the Common Core standards, measures what students should know for their grade level, emphasizing the importance of skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. PARCC replaced the Prairie State Achievement Examination, which had been administered to high school juniors, and the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, which had previously been used to assess grade school students.

While some have expressed frustration over Common Core and PARCC, others argue that this new curriculum and testing is here to stay. They maintain that instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Illinois should focus on fixing the flaws in the new system so the state can ensure students are properly prepared for higher education and the work-world.

However, other parents and educators are concerned about the pace at which the state is moving forward with Common Core standards and PARCC testing, arguing that many schools don’t have the necessary technology to administer the exams. Additionally, critics worry that the Common Core curriculum isn’t ready for the classroom and suggest the testing could negatively affect children.

Chapin Rose

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