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The Illinois State Board of Education has raised the performance expectations for the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) as part of the ongoing effort to better prepare our students for college and careers in the 21st century.

Schools have begun implementing the Common Core State Standards, a multi-state initiative that established year-by-year guidelines outlining the grade-specific skills and content our students need to stay on the path to college and career readiness. Therefore, we must adjust the performance levels on the ISAT for Reading and Mathematics to better align with the more rigorous standards of the Common Core and give teachers and parents better, more timely information about a student’s progress toward postsecondary success.

The ISAT data collected for elementary and middle school students in Spring 2013 will be analyzed for school and district accountability determinations using the new performance levels. The higher expectations of the new standards will result in a downward shift of where students rank in meeting or exceeding standards. These new expectations do not mean that our students know less than they did before or are less capable than they were in previous years. Instead, ISBE is raising the bar on how well students are prepared to meet college and career readiness benchmarks.

The new expectations will also lay the groundwork for the state to replace the ISAT with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments during the 2014-2015 school year.

New ISAT Cut Scores/Transition to PARCC Assessments Resource Documents

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