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District 209 Students Keep Pace with State on PARCC Exams

December 21, 2015 12:45 PM
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Students in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams narrowed the gap between the district and the state in meeting or exceeding standards.
 
According to the results, 28.1 percent of Proviso students who took the English language arts exam met or exceeded standards, compared to 34.7 percent of students across the state. On the math exam, 13.2 percent of students met or exceeded standards, compared to 18.7 percent of Illinois students.
 
This was a narrower gap between the district and state averages compared to the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) in 2014, the last year that the PSAE assessments were given, although much improvement is needed. In 2014, 39.1 percent of District 209 met or exceeded standards on the reading portion of the exam, compared to 56.3 percent across the state, while on the math portion, 37.5 percent of District 209 met or exceeded standards compared to 52.4 percent of Illinois students. 
 
The 2014-2015 school year was the first year that PARCC exams were administered to students to assess District 209 and other school districts in Illinois during their transition to the Common Core state standards. The PARCC exams require students to demonstrate a higher level of understanding and a better understanding of how to apply the subject matter, said Dr. Diane Deckert, director of assessment and planning for District 209. They also must explain their thinking with short answers and essays as compared to multiple-choice questions on the previous state tests.
 
In addition, the scoring method that determined whether a student was deemed proficient on the PARCC exam was different than the PSAE.
 
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the District goal is to always meet or exceed the state average. Additional resources that have been provided have supported this initiative.
 
"This is a start, and it is the result of our teachers and administration working together to improve student performance across the District," she said. "We hope to accelerate the steady positive progress that we have been making in educating our students." 
 
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