Content standards inform what teachers teach by defining what students must learn. With this in mind, the Illinois State Board of Education took a big step in 2010 when it joined more than 40 states in adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), thereby crystallizing the state's proficiency expectations for its public school students—2010 was also the year in which Illinois adopted the new Illinois Learning Standards in English/language arts and math.
Full implementation of the CCSS in Illinois in 2013-2014 meant that new standardized assessments were warranted, and as a result, 2014 saw the transition from the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) to the state's new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.
It's a new generation of assessments for a state and a nation that demands it, but what do we know about Illinois' latest round of tests? The five facts below are meant to shine some light on what the IL PARCC assessments are all about.