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PARRC Test Scores Released

posted Dec 11, 2015, 11:10 AM by THS Webmaster   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 1:07 PM ]
The local PARCC scores were released today. Since this is the first time students took the PARCC test, which was administered electronically district-wide at Triad in March and May, I caution students and parents to not read too much into the results of the test. State Superintendent, Dr. Tony Smith, emphasized that PARCC is a completely different type of assessment and the results simply set a baseline to measure growth over time.

As the media begins to publish the results, I recommend readers consider a few factors that make it difficult to accurately compare and understand the 2015 state test results. One major factor to consider is whether or not districts took the electronic or paper/pencil version of the test. All Triad students taking the PARCC test took it electronically. Districts had a choice to take traditional paper pencil, newly developed electronic tests or a combination of both paper pencil and electronic tests. Another factor to consider is that high schools had the latitude to decide which students to test. At Triad, students enrolled in English I took the ELA (English Language Arts) test and students enrolled in Algebra I took the Algebra I test while other districts tested courses mainly taken by sophomores or juniors. Most local districts chose the Algebra II or Geometry assessment because this allowed the district to test students at all levels whereas Algebra I is taught at 8th grade and 9th grade. The high school Algebra I results include only 9th grade students enrolled in the course.

It is not recommended to compare individual test results to past performance on state tests or compare Triad’s results to other districts’ results. Due to the fact that testing conditions varied among districts as well as high school test results represent three different content tests in each of the two content areas - English Language Arts and Mathematics. The best measures to show student achievement and growth are local assessments chosen by teachers and administrators within the district. Triad administers two nationally normed assessments: MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) at grades 2nd through 8th three times a year and the ACT which is aligned to college and career readiness standards for all high school students.

Triad PARCC results grades 3 through 9 can be viewed here. Since the district’s average scores are closely aligned to the state’s average scores, the district expects to show improvement as the students become more acclimated to performance based assessments administered electronically and become more prepared to demonstrate competency of the new Illinois Learning Standards.

We plan to use these results cautiously until the state provides more convincing evidence that the PARCC test is an acceptable measure of student performance and is an assessment that can be used to inform local curriculum decisions. Transitioning to more rigorous internationally aligned state standards and to a new electronic state assessment aligned to these standards will take time before the results can be used to guide district decisions or be considered an adequate measure of student achievement.

Superintendent Leigh Lewis