Illinois parents have questions about computer scoring of the new state-mandated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.
Parents with More Than A Score and the Raise Your Hand education coalition are teaming up with parents in other states to get answers.
"Parents around the country are concerned that essays on state tests will be graded by computers this spring and are asking for basic answers about the validity of the technology used to do this grading," reads a media alert from More Than A Score.
More Than A Score and Raise Your Hand joined the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and other groups on Tuesday in sending a letter to Illinois State Education Superintendent Tony Smith and other state school officials around the country. They wants answers "about the automated scoring procedures to be used for PARCC and SBAC [Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium] testing this year."
"The original PARCC contract called for two thirds of the students to have their ELA [English Language Arts] exams, including written responses, entirely scored by computers this school year, with only 10 percent of them re-checked by humans," added More Than A Score's statement.
The process by which Illinois PARCC tests will be graded remains unclear, according to the parents.
"The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy has not yet received a response from the Illinois Superintendent or State Board of Education," the group said.
In other PARCC-related news, local parents are also pushing for Illinois lawmakers to take action on a state testing opt-out bill. The legislation, which passed the House last year and is awaiting action in the Senate, would allow Illinois students to opt out of the PARCC with written permission from a parent or guardian. Click through for Progress Illinois' coverage of a parent protest this week over the testing opt-out bill.