A letter from Crystal Lake District 155 Superintendent Johnnie Thomas talks about test scores:
PARCC Test Results
The Illinois State Board of Education will release results from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test tomorrow.
The first PARCC assessment was administered to Illinois students during the 2014-15 school year. Scores statewide are low as predicted.
There are several reasons for the low scores.
PARCC standards are internationally benchmarked.
Previous tests were benchmarked against state standards, and this change has created a perception of lower test scores when in fact they are simply different and cannot necessarily be compared.
In Community High School District 155, we made the decision to assess a subset of freshmen during the 2014-15 school year by targeting courses titled, Freshmen English and Algebra I.
Although all 9th graders were targeted for the English exam, only a portion of 9th graders participated in the Algebra I exam.
This was due to the fact that an estimated 56 percent of 9th grade students were enrolled in higher level math coursework.
An additional number of students targeted to test in both English and Algebra I were not present at school on the days the exams were given.
Comparing results to other districts is not advised because several districts chose to test juniors. We wanted our junior students to focus on college entrance exams (ACT and SAT) and Advanced Placement exams in the spring instead of an exam that has not yet been recognized by major colleges and universities.
We also want to emphasize this was the first time students in the state of Illinois took this assessment. The Illinois State Board of Education has already made changes for testing this spring such as reducing the number of testing windows, adjusting the length of the exams, etc.
These results should be considered nothing more than a baseline to begin tracking student progress.
These results will not impact your student. It’s important for you to know the following:
- These scores do NOT represent your student’s ability or skill level.
- These scores will NOT be used for student placement;
- These scores will NOT appear on a transcript;
- These scores will NOT be used for college entrance or scholarships.
As we understand, PARCC will continue to be the state assessment in Illinois for the near future.
During the spring, we will again assess students in Freshmen English and Algebra I with the understanding that the exam is a low stakes test and the scores will not accurately reflect our students’ overall academic performance.
In District 155, we will continue to focus on postsecondary endeavors for our students.
Our teachers and staff continue to prepare our students for college and careers.
The average ACT score for D155 is 22.9 compared to the state score of 20.7.
District 155’s graduation rate is 96 percent.
Each year, approximately 90 percent of D155’s students continue their education beyond high school, which is far more reflective of the high standards our students achieve.
We have included District 155’s state report card, click here.