Illinois has clearly defined its standards and assessments.
Illinois adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010, and Illinois has a high-quality assessment system in grades 3-8 through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The state also mentions that it is using the Dynamic Learning Maps-Alternate Assessment for students in grades 3-8 with severe cognitive impairments.
At the high school level, Illinois is using the SAT as its accountability assessment. That choice has pros and cons. While the SAT is familiar to students and families, and it is recognized at colleges all across the country, we don’t yet know whether the SAT is fully aligned to the state’s academic standards. And, without the ability to use accommodations and submit valid scores, some of the key benefits of using the SAT may not extend fully to all students.
The state will include its science assessment in its accountability system.
Although science represents a nominal addition to its accountability system (5 percent beginning in 2019-20), this decision signals schools to pay attention to student performance beyond reading and math.