State Board Approves Threshold Scores on New PARCC Assessment

First batch of state-level preliminary results released for baseline year 

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education voted to approve the performance level threshold scores for the PARCC assessment given to students last spring. Performance level setting is a process that results in the recommendation of threshold scores for the five different PARCC assessment performance levels. Threshold scores give meaning to the scores students earn.

·         PARCC Performance Level Presentation

·         Preliminary State Level Results

 

 

Level 1

The student performance demonstrated at this level did not yet meet  academic expectations for the knowledge, skills, and practices embodied by the standards assessed at their grade level or course.

 

 

Level 2

The student performance demonstrated at this level partially met academic expectations for the knowledge, skills, and practices embodied by the standards assessed at their grade level or course.

 

 

Level 3

The student performance demonstrated at this level approached academic expectations for the knowledge, skills, and practices embodied by the standards assessed at their grade level or course.

 

 

Level 4

The student performance demonstrated at this level met academic expectations for the knowledge, skills, and practices embodied by the standards assessed at their grade level or course.

 

 

Level 5

The student performance demonstrated at this level exceeded academic expectations for the knowledge, skills, and practices embodied by the standards assessed at their grade level or course.

This past summer, Illinois educators and content area specialists gathered to determine what score a student must earn on the assessment in order to achieve a particular performance level. Performance levels range from 1 to 5. Students falling within level 4 or 5 have demonstrated that they have a thorough understanding of grade-level content and are on the right track to being ready for college-level coursework. Students receiving a 3 are approaching expectations, but may need additional assistance mastering content. Students receiving a 1 or 2 need more assistance in mastering the content and are in need of greater supports.

“These performance levels are more than just numbers. Educators will use this information to help fine-tune the alignment of classroom resources to support each student’s needs and strengths,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “These results are valuable to educators, parents, and students as they work together to support on-going growth.”

Performance level threshold scores are aligned for each grade. This process ensures that the score thresholds set for each performance level are reviewed and approved by a wide variety of stakeholders and experts. Today’s Board vote will anchor the scores that determine the performance levels for students. The scores that determine the performance levels were also approved by the PARCC Governing Board, which is comprised of the chiefs in each PARCC member state.

These initial score results are simply a new baseline from which we will move forward. While these reports may appear lower than what educators and families typically expect, the PARCC assessment sets new goals for our students using higher expectations that are aligned to the scope of the Illinois Learning Standards. Therefore, lower proficiency scores do not mean that our schools are performing worse or that students are learning less or not as capable. The change is simply a reflection of how statewide assessments have evolved to meet higher standards that promote college and career readiness in the 21st century for all students.

It’s important to remember that this year’s PARCC exam results cannot be compared to test scores from the state’s previous assessments. The PARCC exam is a drastically different test that uses extended tasks and technology-enhanced items to more accurately measure students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills, which are all necessary for students to succeed in their education and/or career field after high school. We fully expect results to improve as teachers and students become more familiar with these higher standards.

Test results alone don’t tell the whole story of student and school achievement, nor will we ever expect them to. The PARCC results are just one piece of our accountability system and will be a valuable tool in tracking progress going forward. At this time, we do not have any individual school or district data to report, nor do schools or districts have this information. This year we expect individual student results to be available later in the fall. In subsequent years, we expect to have this information much earlier.

For more information and continuous updates, please go to the ISBE PARCC Place webpage at http://www.isbe.net/parcc-place/.