PARCC school testing to see big changes after pushback

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) -- The state is looking to make big changes to standardized testing.

Last week we told you many school districts in Illinois are lagging behind with PARCC scores.

It's an online standardized test that started a few years ago. Now the state superintendents office says the PARCC test will be getting an overhaul.

Those in charge want to tackle the biggest problem - it's the delay of when teachers and administrators say they get those test results back.

Now the state is looking for a new company to return those tests within a week after the testing being done.

They say they're willing to pay them 36 million dollars a year. In its current form, they might not get scores back until about a year after the students take them.

They say at that point, the results are useless in helping the group of kids that took the test.

We spoke with the state superintendents office over the phone today. They want people to know that the PARCC test isn't going away -- they just want to fix it.

School officials, like Urbana Superintendent Don Owen, say they're optimistic an improved test will help much more than the current version.

"I do think that some of the things that we'll look at is does it do an accurate job of measuring what it says it measures, and will we get a fast turnaround time in terms of feedback for students and families, so that we can make adjustments and adapt, in a shorter time frame."

That was originally promised with PARCC when it started a few years ago -- where teachers would get scores back in time to make adjustments to their daily, and weekly, plans.

"In real time, because it's an online assessment, so we'd get data back quickly, so we could use it to change and adapt what we're doing now during the school year."

This is likely to all change after students take the test this spring.

A spokeswoman for the state superintendent says they're also hoping to build other language versions from the ground up -- instead of just translating current tests -- and to measure growth in high school.

They hope these changes will help both teachers and students.


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