LINCOLN SQUARE — Illinois is preparing to implement a new standardized test for K-12 students, but it's parents, educators and community leaders who are doing their homework in advance of the exam.
A forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave., will tackle the controversial PARCC test, which activists are petitioning to suspend for the 2014-15 school year.
School administrators, elected officials and Local School Council members are expected to take part in a panel discussion, intended to educate attendees about the test.
PARCC — Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — tests students in math and English, aiming to determine whether they're on track to be successful in college and their careers.
According to the education advocacy group Raise Your Hand, of the 23 states that initially planned to implement PARCC in 2014, only eight plus the school district of Washington, D.C., are using the test.
A "Park the PARCC" petition, which calls on the Illinois State Board of Education to request a PARCC waiver, has garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
The petition claims, among other issues, that many schools aren't equipped with the necessary technology to properly administer the online test and that PARCC, which isn't used for college admissions, interferes with ACT testing dates.
The state board has said that paper-based versions of PARCC will be available for schools that lack the capacity to administer the test electronically.
In supporting the test, the state board has said that PARCC more accurately mirrors the types of expectations and conditions students will confront when they enter college and the workforce.