Common Core State Standards and PARCC
Common Core State Standards
The State of Illinois has adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the content areas of mathematics and English Language Arts. Illinois has also approved the Next Generation Standards for the content area of science. While the State has requested districts use these standards as a means to develop local curriculum, the actual curriculum districts implement may vary from district to district based on local needs. District 115 has fully aligned and articulated its curriculum PreK-12 to the CCSS and Next Generation Standards as per the State’s request.
These standards have been put in place by our state to assist districts in better preparing our students to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more of their students and employees. In order to ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for our students in the areas of mathematics, English Language Arts and science, kindergarten through 12th grade.
It is important to note that the CCSS standards and Next Generation Standards were developed by experts in the field, as well as teachers across the United States. The standards take into consideration the post-graduate’s needs, expertise and abilities necessary to find success in a future workforce not yet realized. Focus areas capitalize on critical-thinking skills, problem-solving, and
The Common Core focuses on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, questioning skills, and the ability to analyze and synthesize information. Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted the CCSS standards.
Common Core State Standards: Myths vs. Facts
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consists of a group of states who worked together to develop an assessment that assesses student knowledge, application of knowledge and academic growth in the areas of mathematics and English Language Arts. PARCC is a high-quality assessment aligned to CCSS that is designed to test students of all achievement levels. It is designed to provide administrators, teachers, and students information regarding student academic progress as well as to inform areas of success and/or need. Data gained from PARCC is meant to assist educators and parents in personalizing learning for each student, which will ultimately allow for improved student achievement and create student post-secondary success. PARCC tests students in grades 3-8 and high school students taking identified courses. District 115 has identified high school students who will participate in PARCC as those students taking Algebra I and/or taking English I. This is likely to include the majority of freshman at Yorkville High School.
Based on input from educators across our state, the Illinois State Board of Education will continue to implement the PARCC exam, but in a shorter, simpler format. The assessment will still provide parents and districts reliable and valid information regarding student achievement. The changes allow for a new 30 day testing window between the 75 percent and 90 percent mark of the school year, while also reducing the student test time for most students by 90 minutes.
The State has released information regarding the overall online performance of students in the State. Scores across the state are much lower than were measured by previous assessments. The state has shared that these lower scores are a result of PARCC measuring more complex skills, including critical thinking, persuasive writing, and problem solving. The state has also assured each district that lower scores do not mean that students did not grow, but rather the PARCC assessment simply cannot be compared to scores on previous assessments because it measures different criteria. The state intends to use the new scores as a benchmark for the future. Based on initial information, scores indicate that approximately 30% of students across the state of Illinois are meeting or exceeding expectations. The Illinois State Board of Education has indicated that districts should expect to see similar results for their students as well.
Presentation: 2014-2015 PARCC Results for District 115