* This was inevitable…
Reversing its decision to limit a new state standardized test to just 10 percent of Chicago Public Schools students, CPS officials said Monday that with a week to go before the PARCC testing window opens, all CPS students in 3rd through 8th grade will take it.
CPS had tried to buck state regulations for every public school student to take PARCC — the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — saying that Illinois’ largest district would instead do another year of pilot testing in about 66 schools. Chicago children lacked the technology and technological skills to take the exam, which is largely given on a computer, officials said.
The state resisted, telling CPS officials repeatedly that the district had to offer the test to all eligible students — or jeopardize the entire state’s federal funding for poor children, which tops $1 billion. The latest warning from the state came Friday in a letter. […]
Some have accused CPS officials of playing politics with the test, appealing to a swath of parents who say CPS tests their kids too much and who were also disenchanted with many of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education policies. CPS’ announcement Monday came less than a week after Emanuel was forced into a runoff with Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
As we’ve discussed before, the feds threatened to withhold all education money from Illinois if the state allowed Chicago to skip the exams. The state held firm and threatened to cut off the city’s money to save its own money. The CS-T report above could be right about this being a political ploy which was only designed to be played out through the first round, which Rahm was supposed to win… and didn’t.
(T)he district began an effort to administer the test to just 66 of its more than 600 schools. All schools were still told to prepare for the test, while a district spokesman insisted through late last week that CPS was still pursuing a limited rollout.
But at a sometimes heated hearing last week in Springfield, a CPS official said all district schools have been ordered to prepare for the exam and that all but about two dozen schools are technologically prepared to give the computer-based test.
Still, CPS Chief Accountability Officer John Barker told lawmakers: “We feel like the implementation of PARCC for this year is going to be extremely problematic for our district and others across the state.”
Parent groups and the Chicago Teachers Union have opposed the exam amid broad debate over rigorous Common Core educational standards and so-called high-stakes testing.