Wheeler Calls for Reexamination of Involvement with PARCC



SPRINGFIELD – Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has filed House Resolution 404 in an effort the reexamine the impact of PARCC testing on Illinois. Wheeler’s resolution also calls on the State Board of Education to be more transparent about the implementation and use of PARCC. Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor), of the neighboring 61st District, has joined Wheeler in this call, along with several other General Assembly members.

“The rollout of PARCC testing this year has been poor to say the least,” said Wheeler. “In most schools, teachers weren’t properly prepared to administer the testing, which has left our students unprepared and very frustrated. This is made worse because there is no legitimate way for parents to ask that their child not be tested because of the contract the federal government is demanding states comply with to maintain funding.”

Wheeler continued, “Many of my colleagues and I have been hearing from parents that are greatly concerned because their children, who are good students, have become so overwhelmed by testing that doesn’t align with their classroom instruction. As a former teacher, and a more importantly a parent, it’s clear we need to reevaluate PARCC and ensure that it doesn’t hinder our children’s scholastic success.”

Under the Common Core State Standards, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has been implemented as a means to evaluate student success in core instruction areas. However, the rollout of PARCC encountered a number of problems because the rules for the testing changed on numerous occasions in the days and weeks just before it was to be administered. This is why Wheeler’s resolution also calls on the State Board of Education to better communicate the process and the rules governing the testing in addition to asking the Governor to reevaluate the contract for PARCC.

Illinois is facing a major hurdle with PARCC because the testing is mandated under federal law. Under the law, any state that doesn’t administer PARCC to 95 percent of its students will lose federal education funding. In Illinois, this amounts to more than $1 billion. For this reason, Wheeler is hopeful the Governor will work with the federal government and federal elected officials from Illinois to find a solution that won’t cause major education funding to be lost, but allow parents their right to be involved in the education and evaluation of their children.

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