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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000


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Milo Skalicky
for NPR Illinois


School administrators are typically too polite to say “Told ya so!” but they have every right to when it comes to the PARCC test -- the new standardized test associated with the Common Core curriculum. The chief complaint about the test, implemented this year, was that it took 10 hours. Schools had to suspend their normal schedules for up to a month at a time, as they shuttled classes into and out of computer labs. One section was given in March, and another in May, making a double dose of disruption.

The consortium made the change in response to complaints from parents and educators that the test was too long.

This week, the PARCC consortium voted to cut about 90 minutes and consolidate the test into one session. Anne Morris, test coordinator at Springfield’s District 186, was thrilled.

“Consolidating it into one testing window is the best idea yet. We had a lot of voices saying that that is a good idea,” Morris said. “All the things they have done are good ideas, and the reason being is they have listened to the feedback they’ve gotten from educators. So they’re being very responsive to that.”   

Illinois students finish their second round of PARCC testing next week. A measure moving through the Illinois legislature would allow students to opt-out of the test altogether.


After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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