Dear Parents and Students: As you may have heard, the PSAE test is no more. This year, all districts in the state of Illinois will administer the PARCC assessment to students. This assessment (test) is different than the old ISAT and PSAE assessments with which many of you are familiar. [By the way, the school will still administer a free ACT test on Tuesday, March 3rd)
First of all, the PARCC assessments are geared towards testing students in specific subject areas of English (English - Language Arts or ELA) and Math. Students in specific courses will be assessed, without regard to their grade level (although the two subjects tested have a majority of juniors - Algebra II and English III).
Second, the PARCC assessments will be given electronically (on-line), where students will take the assessments in a group setting at school on their Chromebooks. This group setting will look like the ACT test administration in that it will be strictly supervised and monitored, under PARCC rules and procedures. Last year, some students had this experience when they took the PARCC "pilot assessment" on their Chromebooks. By the way, the PARCC assessment is mandatory for students in those classes mentioned above.
Third, the PARCC assessment is administered in two phases: The first phase will be in late March (after about 75% of the instruction is received in that course) and is called a Performance-Based Assessment (PBA), with a heavier emphasis on open-ended questions, extended tasks, and writing. The 2nd phase is called the End of Year (EOY) assessment and will be given to the same students in May, with this assessment being a more conventional test. Please watch for future announcements about these dates and check back with the District Calendar, too.
The PARCC test is designed to assess how students measure up to the new Illinois Learning Standards, which is also new. Several other states are also giving the PARCC assessment, too, since Illinois is a part of the group of states that agreed to adopt the "common core" standards and to use this common assessment. PARCC is an acronym which means "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
To read more about the PARCC test and the process, you may click here. This takes you to the PARCC Primer page on the Illinois State Board of Education Website. Just click on "Documents for Parents" link.
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