PARCC news: State updates its response to PARCC participation

Dear District 58 families,

This afternoon, we received new information from the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Assessment Division that was then affirmed publicly at a town hall event held in our community.   During an ISBE meeting on April 4, 2018, ISBE staff decided to update the state’s new response to PARCC participation. We are happy to be able to share the revised information that ISBE provided today:

  • PARCC remains a state-mandated assessment for all students, and 95% participation for each school remains the accountability threshold.

  • Schools that do not achieve 95% participation for three consecutive years will not automatically be designated as Tier 3 schools, but they will be eliminated from consideration as Tier I schools (as a reminder, Tier 1 is the highest performing, Tier 4 is the lowest.)

  • Schools that do not achieve 95% participation in any year will be notified that they are at risk of being designated for targeted improvement and support (which would be the scenario in which district resources could be expended on these targets.)

  • The “three consecutive years” will begin with the Spring of 2018.  As of yesterday, the earliest that schools could be identified with three consecutive years of participation non-compliance would be 2020.

ISBE’s director of assessment, Rae Clementz, acknowledged that this information was a revised interpretation of the previously-shared Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan; these are new state-level decisions regarding implementation of the approved plan.  We know that this issue is important to our community, and we are sharing it as part of our commitment to communicate the most current and clear information that is available to us.

This revision does not change the state mandate for participation in the PARCC assessment for 2018 (and state assessments in future years).  It does not change the negative impact for our schools if we do not achieve 95% participation, though it does delay and modify that impact. It does not change the fact that PARCC will be the only statewide measure available this year, and that our schools will likely be ranked by external agencies based on our PARCC scores.

Most importantly, it does not change our belief in our students’ capabilities, and our desire that they devote their sincere best efforts at all times.  We remain committed to making this assessment a positive experience of learning and growth for our students as best we are able. Your support is appreciated, and I continue to welcome any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Justin Sisul

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction