ISBE to shove local schools off the testing ‘cliff’
Editor’s note: The following guest editorial exceeds the Bureau County Republican’s 500-word limit; therefore, the BCR will allow a reader’s opposing viewpoint to also exceed the word limit. Contact BCR Editor Terri Simon at 815-875-4461, ext. 229, before submitting.
Last week, school districts across the state received an email from Illinois State Superintendent Chris Koch pertaining to the proposed increase in “cut” scores used for the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) that is administered each spring to students in Grades 3-8. Cut scores are used to determine a range of scores necessary to assign a student an overall performance level of “exceeds standards,” “meets standards,” “below standards” or “academic warning,” in the areas of reading, math and science.
Superintendent Koch stated in his email to schools “the increase in performance levels will align our expectations for our Grade 3-8 students with the more rigorous standards of the new Common Core State Standards that are focused on college and career readiness.” ISBE staff has made it clear to districts the increase in cut scores is part of the transition to the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment that all schools will be required to administer beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
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