Illinois Risks Losing Some Funding For Schools If They Don’t Administer The PARCC Test

February 26, 2015
Practice test books sit on a table in a Sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies classroom.

Practice test books sit on a table in a Sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies classroom.

(AP Photo/Ty Wright)

States have incorporated the federal common core standards in different ways.

Illinois has its own test to determine college readiness, but some parents and teachers are trying to stop it.

A discussion about student testing raised voices and emotions among those for and against the controversial PARCC test, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

It consists of math and reading exams given to students starting in third grade.

John Barker from Chicago Public Schools says CPS is a strong proponent of the common core standards.

"We also believe in PARCC very strongly, and in fact feel like this is going to be the test for the future," he said. "There are a lot of things that PARCC can do and will do that will be very different than the kind of tests we've used in the past."

But teachers and parents think it might be different in a bad way.

Wendy Katten, Executive Director of Raise Your Hand, is part of a group that wants to stop the test.

"I'm getting letters everyday from parents of kids with autism who say, 'My kid cannot take this test, and my school is telling me it's not an option to refuse.' This is cruel," Katten said.

Proponents say the online test is the best way to assess students.

Getting rid of PARCC would cut off the state from some federal funds.

Students will take the exam on March 9, so it is unlikely any changes recommended by the newly-formed study committee will take effect before the next testing date.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio