Olsen Delivers Local Concerns about PARCC Testing to Illinois State Board of Education

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) sent a letter Friday to Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) sharing feedback he received from 81st District school administrators, educators and parents about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam. ISBE is in the process of developing a request for proposals for an assessment tool to be used when the PARCC contract expires in 2019.

“Educators and parents throughout my district continue to provide feedback to me regarding the challenges they face with the current tools used for assessment and school accountability,” Olsen wrote. “Some parents have opted out of having their children take the current PARCC exam. Parents have opted out for many reasons, including concerns about the design of the assessment tool, limited or no educational value or relevance for students and teachers, or student privacy and data mining concerns.”

Olsen’s letter offered ISBE a summary of the comments he has received from meetings with his constituents in the past few weeks. To develop a new assessment tool, he wrote, ISBE should ensure that it is relevant for students, useful for teachers and educators, and that it provides opportunities for reduction of testing and cost savings.

“I hope these community suggestions can be incorporated by ISBE as they continue to develop criteria for a new state assessment tool,” Olsen said. “I am especially appreciative to those from the 81st District who have shared their productive input and concerns with me.”

You can read a copy of the letter here.

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