CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois State Board of Education says it will no longer administer the Partnership for the Achievement of Readiness for College and Careers standardized test to high school students.
The board announced Monday the controversial test will be replaced by a redesigned SAT exam. The test, known as PARCC, is supposed to measure college readiness with in-depth analytical questions.
The change comes after only two administrations of PARCC, in the spring of 2015 and 2016, which included dismal test scores and thousands of students skipping the exams. In Chicago alone, about 10 percent of eligible students didn't take it last year.
Board of education officials said they decided to dump the test after conversations with parents, administrators, unions and others. Many families have opposed the test, becoming part of a national movement that questions the amount of school testing.
Roger Eddy, head of the Illinois Association of School Boards, said he supports the move for the same reason.
"I think it's important that if we're looking at assessments, we should eliminate duplication," Eddy said. "We assess and assess and assess, and you've got to remember that sometimes we have to teach kids."
The board is touting the decision as a cutback on standardized testing while providing equitable access to a college entrance exam required for admissions applications. Administrators say that the exams at the high school level took away from instruction time as Advanced Placement exams for honors-level students and a college entrance exam in many districts piled up in the spring.
"There was no element of skin in the game for the kids — they didn't know why they had to take the exam," said Argo Community High School District 217 Superintendent Kevin O'Mara, president of the High School District Organization of Illinois. "It threw off our whole spring calendar."
Third- through eighth-graders will still take PARCC reading and math exams in the spring.