What Parents Can Expect
This is a new set of standards and assessments with a new way of scoring. Therefore, itis not possible to directly compare new scores with old ones. The new assessments measure deeper knowledge and skills deemed particularly important for students’ futures, including problem-solving, writing, and critical thinking.
Because the standards are more rigorous, student achievement scores may initially be lower. A dip should not necessarily be interpreted as a decline in student learning or in educator performance. Educators expect the short-term decline to reverse as teachers and students become more familiar with the standards and better equipped to meet the challenges they present.
How will schools support students during the transition?
Schools have created a variety of models to assist students who are struggling with the standards. Remediation and summer courses, as well as in-class adjustments are just a few support strategies.
How will schools, students, and teachers be held accountable?
The Illinois State Board of Education is currently revising its accountability plan to include the new assessments as well as other measures of school and district effectiveness. Schools and districts that do not show evidence of student progress will receive supports to improve outcomes for students. In the immediate future, even if a student does not meet proficiency levels, there will be no negative consequences such as holding him or her back a year. Parents can work with the school to develop an improvement plan tailored to the specific student’s needs.
New rules regarding teacher evaluation have outlined how accountability measures will be implemented to ensure that teacher effectiveness is measured against student progress throughout the year.These rules are being phased in over the next few years.