In LeRoy... eMPower or PARCC
As the State readies for the release of last year’s standardized test results for schools this week, it is important for our stakeholders to be aware of how we see the value and relevance of those tests. If you are a parent who attended parent-teacher conferences this year or if you attended the 2017 State of the Schools, you heard about “Measured Progress eMPower testing.” eMPower is an assessment platform that is aligned to college and career readiness standards and provides predictability toward the SAT, which is taken by our high school juniors. This is a testing platform that is less invasive to classroom instruction and provides feedback within 48 hours to our teachers. While we are still in a pilot with the company, we believe that if they deliver on their concept, this assessment model will allow us to modify curriculum and instruction based upon data analysis. This type of immediate feedback allows us to make rapid and appropriate decisions in order to facilitate the best possible teaching for our students. Another key deliverable for eMPower will be to provide feedback and resources to parents so, they are best prepared to either assist or enrich the academic progress of their child. We have created a document to explain our approach and belief in this assessment: “The LeRoy Journey.”
We want to be clear that we think the eMPower platform creates a more accurate picture of student learning for all of our students than the PARCC platform administered by the State of Illinois. While some may point to deficiencies in PARCC data to suggest that this shift is a way of deflecting from those deficiencies, consider this: we take PARCC tests in the spring of the year and do not see any results until after school has already begun, costing us nearly 3 months of planning to fill instructional or curricular gaps, or making appropriate enrichment/intervention strategies for our students. Two years ago, the State administered a science assessment, for which we have still not seen the results. In the absence of timely and relevant data, it is of no use other than to sort students and schools on a relative basis. PARCC clearly has no relevance in improving teaching and learning in a timely enough manner to benefit our students.
We welcome accountability, but want to engage in the process in a manner that leads to improvement rather than blame. We believe this to such a degree that we have agreed to participate in a pilot program with the Illinois State Board of Education this year in order to better understand the ESSA accountability model. While we are grateful for the opportunity to participate, we have been clear that we will bring dissent to the process. We currently participate with AdvancED in a continuous school improvement process and as indicated above, we think Measured Progress’s eMPower platform is a better way to improve teaching and learning throughout our district.
If you have any questions, we would encourage you to contact our Superintendent or one of our building Principals