The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday detailed improvements to the state's annual assessment tests for third through eighth graders.
Director of Assessment and Accountability Rae Clementz says the changes will be phased in over the next four years. They start with a shorter test in 2019.
"The English-Language Arts and Literacy portion for third grade is reduced from three and three-quarters hours to two and-a-half hours. The English-Language Arts-Literacy portion for grades four through eight is reduced from four and-a-half hours to three hours. The Math portion is reduced from either four or four and-a-half hours to three hours."
Starting in 2021, Clementz says the test will move to a computer-adaptive design. She says this will return the results to classrooms much more quickly and provide educators a more precise measure of the students' proficiency.
Clementz says the newly named Illinois Assessment of Readiness will retain the best parts of the PARCC test by measuring how ready students are for what comes next, either in college or in a career.
"It's a lot of not just what a student knows, but what they're able to do with what they know. How they can communicate, not just a right answer, but how they understood and how they got to that right answer."
Clementz says achieving life-skills in the classroom requires curriculum modifications, such as the types of homework assigned to the assessment tests students take.