New State Tests in 2014-15
To develop tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, Illinois joined with 27 other states in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The target date for the new tests is fall 2014. Unlike the current, once-a-year, high-stakes tests, the PARCC system provides two interim (formative) assessments and two summative (end of the year) tests. The computer-based tests will deliver results promptly.
Information about the assessment design is available at http://www.parcconline.org/about-parcc, the source for the following information.
PARCC's goals are comprehensive and are focused on producing better student performance.
- Create high-quality assessments
- Build a pathway to college and career readiness for all students
- Support educators in the classroom
- Develop 21st century, technology-based assessments
- Advance accountability at all levels
PARCC is developing an assessment system comprised of four components, two summative and two interim. Each component will be delivered via computer and will utilize technology to incorporate innovations.
1. Two summative assessment components
- Make "college and career readiness" and "on track" determinations
- Measure the full range of standards and the full performance continuum
- Provide data for accountability uses, including measures of growth
2. Two interim assessment components designed to
- Generate timely data for informing instruction, interventions, and professional development during the school year
- Assess students' speaking and listening skills (ELA/literacy) in a third formative component
Summative Assessment Components
- Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) administered as close to the end of the school year as possible.
- The ELA/Literacy PBA will focus on writing effectively when analyzing text.
- The mathematics PBA will focus on applying skills, concepts, and understandings to solve multi-step problems requiring abstract reasoning, precision, perseverance, and strategic use of tools
- End-of-Year Assessment (EOY) administered after approximately 90% of the school year.
- The ELA/Literacy EOY will focus on reading comprehension.
- The mathematics EOY will be comprised of innovative, machine-scored items.
Interim Assessment Components
- Early Assessment designed to provide indicators of student knowledge and skills so that instruction, supports, and professional development can be tailored to meet student needs.
- Mid-Year Assessment comprised of performance-based items and tasks, with an emphasis on hard-to-measure standards. After study, individual states may consider including this as a summative component.
No changes will be made to the state testing process until fall 2014, except for inclusion of some pilot test items for the PARCC in spring 2013 and 2014. PARCC will provide sample test items and instructional materials starting in 2013.
For more information about the PARCC assessments, check the following resources:
PARCC Update, a brief introduction to the design of the PARCC
PARCC Place Newsletter, a monthly newsletter with updates and resources
PARCC Website, complete information about PARCC and its progress
Model Content Frameworks for each assessment are available at this site.