The second year of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) began on Monday, March 7. The testing window will be open until June 10, a change from the previous year to allow districts additional flexibility in crafting their schedules.
Other modifications to the assessment include reducing the test to six or seven units (from eight or nine) depending on grade level, cutting the exam time by 60 minutes for math and 30 minutes for English language arts, and incorporating a more streamlined format. A letter explaining all the changes can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website.
Districts will also see their scores tallied sooner than last year because performance levels have already been set. This will give educators additional time to craft their instruction to better meet specific needs of students. Scoring rubrics and other educational tools aligned with PARCC can be obtained at the Partnership Resource Center.
ESSA resources and updates
ISBE recently launched an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) webpage to help districts, education officials, and the general public navigate the complex law. Resources on the site include a general overview of the Act, an executive summary, a PowerPoint presentation, and links to U.S. Department of Education documents. ISBE has planned a listening tour throughout Illinois in the coming months, with details to be announced soon.
The U.S. Department of Education has also recently advised states with approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waivers to continue implementing flexibility requests through the remainder of this school year. A webinar will be hosted for Focus or Priority identified schools to provide guidance in developing and submitting school improvement plans using the Rising Star continuous improvement planning system tool. Click here to register for the March 22 webinar.
FY 2017 General State Aid
Preliminary data that can be used to complete forecasted Fiscal Year 2017 General State Aid (GSA) claims has been posted by ISBE. The GSA website provides data including:
- Final 2013 EAV and tax rates
- Preliminary 2014 EAV and tax rates
- Preliminary 2014 limiting rates
- 2014 Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) receipts
- Districts subject to alternate PTELL adjustment
ISBE has provided a FY 2017 forecasting tool that can be used in conjunction with these reports to aid in calculating the estimated GSA payment for the coming year.