The Illinois State Board of Education has voted to approve the performance level threshold scores for PARCC, signalling state leaders' desire to increase rigor for students and get more honest about what kids are able to do. This change not only raises the bar significantly from previously low standards but will also begin to chip away at the glaring problem that Illinois graduates have not been adequately prepared for college, career, and the military.
For years, students in Illinois public schools have been passing their state assessments in language arts and math under the false assumption that this verified proficiency in these critical subjects. Students and their families were being misled by tests that were too easy and passing scores that were set too low,” said Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “I congratulate Governor Bruce Rauner, State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith and Illinois leaders for putting an end to this charade by adopting more rigorous tests and setting passing scores at a level that reflects true, in-depth knowledge of the subjects. These are not easy decisions but necessary ones to ensure the future success of children.”