Changes coming for PARCC tests

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DECATUR-As Illinois schools prepare for the second year of PARCC testing, state education officials are promising improvements over the first year’s test.

Schools may conduct their Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test between March 7 and June 10. In a letter to parents, State Superintendent Tony Smith said the 2016 exam “has a simpler format to improve the testing process while still providing reliable information about student achievement.”

Smith’s letter also promised that schools would receive PARCC scores more quickly than they did last year, when districts waited nine months for scores.

Students in the Decatur district will be able to take their tests through new iPads which have been distributed to each student.

“Primarily in grades three through eight, they’re going to be taking their tests on their iPads,” said Ed Moyer, the district’s Chief Instructional Officer. “In the past, it would be bringing in a cart of laptops or going to a computer lab. Now for us, students are going to have their devices. They’re going to take their test in their class.”

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