Illinois ends much-debated PARCC test for high school students

Illinois is ditching the controversial state PARCC exam for high school students, instead giving 11th-graders a state-paid SAT college entrance exam next spring.

The announcement from the Illinois State Board of Education on Monday comes after only two administrations of PARCC, in the spring of 2015 and 2016, following dismal test scores and thousands of students skipping the exams.

Still, third- through eighth-graders will continue taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers in reading and math, exams designed to prepare students for college and work. The state tests have drawn opposition from families who questioned the amount of testing at school — part of a national movement that has prompted some states to stop using the PARCC exams, which are based on Common Core standards.

At the high school level, the PARCC exams took away from key instruction time, school administrators said, as tests piled up in the spring, including Advanced Placement exams for honors-level students and a college entrance exam in many districts.

Against that backdrop, some students didn't seem to take PARCC seriously. (Read the full story by Chicago Tribune writer Diane Rado by clicking here.)