This week the Illinois State Board of Education decided that high school students will not have to take the PARCC assessment, they will have to take the SAT instead.
The State Journal-Register reports:
Students in third through eighth grades will continue to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment.
The SAT (formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Achievement Test) will be provided to schools at no extra cost and will be offered to students during the school day, the state agency said.
“District and school administrators overwhelmingly agree with ISBE that every high school junior should have access to a college entrance exam, a policy that promotes equity and access and that provides each and every student with greater opportunities in higher education,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said in a statement. “The SAT is aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards and will continue to empower educators to measure college and career readiness.”
The state board said it made the change in response to listening to different stakeholders, including students, parents, educators, administrators and advocacy groups.
Those groups emphasized the need for equitable access to a college entrance exam and scaling back on the amount of testing time and number of assessments given, the board said.
Just two years ago, the PARCC exam replaced the Illinois State Achievement Test and Prairie State Achievement Exam, with claims that PARCC was a better way to prepare students for college and careers because it was aligned with federal Common Core standards.
Illinois reportedly spent $57 million to get the initiative off the ground.
But the test had many critics from the get-go who felt it was being rolled out too quickly, didn’t produce quality data and that the results weren’t accepted by colleges. Across Illinois, many high school students refused to take the test.
News that the state is dropping PARCC in high schools was met with praise, and also surprise, Monday from local school superintendents.
The only good news is that this is one less assessment high school students will have to take. As for having to take the SAT, I was never a fan of the assessment before David Coleman took over the College Board, and he didn’t make any improvements. Now the state of Illinois is showing favoritism toward one college entrance exam.