No Walk in the PARCC for CPS
A while ago, the Illinois State Board of Education announced that they were requiring all public schools in Illinois to administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, also known as the PARCC assessment. In September, this test won a grant from the United States Department of Education in a competition for new standardized, Common Core-compliant assessments. Last summer, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the Chicago Public Schools school district chief, asked that the Board of Education delay putting the PARCC into effect, but they denied her petition. On, Friday, Byrd-Bennett announced that, in defiance of the state mandate, only 66 out of 600 Chicago Public Schools will be taking the PARCC assessment this spring, while the rest will be taking the assessments used last year. She said that the reason for this is that she believes that hundreds of thousands of CPS students do not have adequate access to the resources and technology needed for the test. Byrd-Bennett is not the only one opposed to the implementation of the test. Other organizations that stand with her include the Chicago Teachers' Union and Raise Your Hand. There is a lot of confusion and controversy about this test and about how laws applying to standardized testing are being interpreted, but there could very well be consequences for the school district's actions, which would likely include cut funding. On the other hand, Barbara Byrd-Bennett may also be raising awareness for changing the way we deal with standardized testing.
Visit the link below for the original article released on this story, which includes many details and opinions from figures involved.
Below, you can find the PARCC Fact Sheet, from the PARCC website, which provides in-depth information about the assessment itself.
The link below provides general information about the PARCC assessments, and the site has links to further information about the test.
Below, you will find a link to the Illinois State Board of Education website that includes webinars, information on how the test is taken, and many more resources.
The following link has information from the United States Department of Education on the grant that the PARCC won from the federal government last September.
“About PARCC.” PARCC Online. <http://www.parcconline.org/about-parcc>. 20 January 2015.
Perez, Juan. “Chicago Public Schools defies mandate on new standardized exam, PARCC.” Chicago Tribune. < http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago- schools-testing-met-20150116-story.html>. 18 January 2015.
Strauss, Valerie. “Chicago school district refuses to give PARCC Common Core test as mandated by the state of Illinois." Washington Post. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/01/17/chicago-school- district-refuses-to-give-parcc-common-core-test-as-mandated-by-the-state-of- illinois/>. 18 January 2015.
“U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announces Winners of Competition to Improve Student Assessments.” United States Department of Education. <http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-duncan-announces- winners-competition-improve-student-asse>. 20 January 2015.