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September , 2017
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Scores from the 2015 PARCC test provide a new baseline for measuring student growth

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Friday released the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment scores on the 2015 Illinois Report Card at www.illinoisreportcard.com.

The results show that 33 percent of Illinois students met or exceeded expectations for their grade level or course on this new assessment based on Illinois’ more rigorous learning standards in English language arts (ELA) and math. 

“We must remember that these results cannot and should not be compared to prior scores,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The PARCC test not only aligns to higher standards and asks students to demonstrate their understanding in a different way, but it also reflects student performance across five new, more nuanced performance levels.”

The PARCC test replaced the previous Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE). Students in grades 3-8 and some high school students began taking the PARCC test last March.

High school students took the PARCC test near the completion of courses that contain the corresponding standards.

This is unlike the state’s previous high school assessment, the PSAE, which was administered to all 11th-grade students. For the 2015 PARCC administration, school districts were allowed to choose what level of the PARCC test was given at the high school level. Roughly 50 percent administered the ELA/Literacy 3 and Algebra 2/Integrated Math 3 combination.

Districts’ ability to choose what high school courses were tested means that a different, more varied student population was assessed this year. Therefore, it is not accurate to compare districts’, schools’, and students’ PARCC performance to PSAE and ISAT scores.

The 2015 PARCC scores provide a brand new baseline for measuring student progress moving forward. Under the ISAT and PSAE, results were reported as having met or exceeded expectations. There are now five PARCC performance levels, which range from 1 to 5. With these new performance levels, ISBE is now focusing on student performance on a continuum.

“These results should not be used to label any student or school as failing or inadequate. We encourage school districts to take this year’s scores at face value and look for ways to improve areas where scores are not meeting expectations,” Smith said. “Next year, the 2016 scores will be available sooner and will be to track progress from this baseline year.”

Students falling within level 4 or 5 have readiness for the next grade level or course, which is considered on track for college and careers, as defined by the Illinois Learning Standards. 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. For additional information on how to access and understand the PARCC scores on the Report Card site, please visit www.isbe.net/assessment/pdfs/parcc/2015/score-reports/parcc-scores-rpt-card-guide.pdf.

Below is the percentage of Illinois student scores meeting or exceeding expectations (level 4 or 5) for the grades and subjects tested on the PARCC test:

Grade

ELA

Math

3

35.3

34.5

4

39.5

27.9

5

38.3

26.9

6

35.4

27.2

7

39.9

27.5

8

40.4

32.1

High School

34.7

18.7

Nearly 75 percent of students took the PARCC test online. ISBE expects proficiency levels to increase as both students and teachers become more familiar with the higher standards and the test’s technology.

Additional resources about how to interpret and understand the new PARCC results are available at:

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