State education officials now have two years of scores from a new exam called the PARCC.
Results for individual districts haven’t been released yet, but preliminary statewide numbers show two-thirds of Illinois students aren’t ready for college.
“We’ve got a long way to go and I think this is the part that is sobering,” said Illinois Superintendent of Education Tony Smith.
Smith hesitated to make any generalizations about the data, noting that his office is still working with districts to analyze all the numbers.
The transition to the PARCC test over the last two years has been rocky at times.
Some districts didn’t have updated technology to give the computerized exam, so students took a paper version. Last year, about a quarter of all the tests were taken with paper and pencil. This spring, that number fell to 15 percent.
State education officials have decided to scrap the PARCC in the high school grades going forward. This year, all high school juniors will take the SAT college entrance exam instead.
Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. Follow her at @wbezeducation.