Illinois released the results of Common Core test results, and the proportion of students who met PARCC’s wildly unrealistic expectations declined from previous years.

“In a troubling picture of performance, the vast majority of Illinois students failed to reach the high academic bar on the new state PARCC exams, meaning they weren’t on track academically for the next grade level, let alone for college or careers.

“Preliminary statewide results from last spring’s testing, released for the first time Wednesday, reveal the extent to which students fell short of the key goal of the Common Core movement, to ultimately prepare students for higher education and the world of work.

“Between 26 and 36 percent of third-through-eighth-grade students “met expectations” or “exceeded expectations” on the PARCC math exams. In English language arts/literacy, the figure was 33 to 38 percent for third-through-eighth-graders.

“In high schools the picture was even more dismal, with 17 percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations in math while 31 percent did so in English language arts/literacy. In high school, districts had the choice to give the exams in various grades, depending on the level of courses students were taking in math and English. For example, districts could give ninth-graders the Algebra 1 PARCC exam.

“The Illinois State Board of Education’s data is not complete but includes students who took the exams online, which represents more than 75 percent of test takers. Results of students taking the exams with paper and pencil will be melded into final results later.

“The scores on the new exams are lower than any statewide test results since 2001, data shows, when the state launched the Prairie State Achievement Examination for high school juniors. The Illinois Standards Achievement Test for grade school students had debuted in 1999. The percentage of students meeting and exceeding expectations on those exams since 2001 never dipped below 50 percent statewide, even after the state made it tougher to pass the grade school tests.”

These are the dismal results that the test developers of PARCC and Smarter Balanced planned for and predicted.

Some educators recognized the tests for what they are: madness .

“For educators following the debate over testing and the new exams, the results were expected.

“We’ve been writing and meeting with ISBE officials for over two years to stop this madness. We’ve told them that our technology isn’t ready, our Common Core curriculum isn’t ready and the test will be hurting kids,” said Argo Community High School District 217 Superintendent Kevin O’Mara, who also is president of the Illinois High School District Organization.

“They didn’t listen then; I hope with a new ISBE chairman and a new ISBE state superintendent, they’ll finally rethink PARCC and get back to helping students learn.”

With a rabidly pro-charter Governor Rauner, students and educators can’t expect much relief. These are results that discredit public education and can be used by the privatizers to push their agenda.

As Mercedes Schneider has repeatedly declared, there is zero evidence that these tests are an accurate gauge of college or career readiness.

Mercedes writes:

“Chin up, Illinois. These lousy scores are only a half-full glass. Besides, there will be other PARCC states releasing terrible scores, and we can make it a senseless contest to see which of the few PARCC states is the worst.

“Of course, there is no evidence that PARCC and its Common Core host have any empirically-established, practical connection to any useful outcome. But practicality is beside the test-obsessed point. These scores must be useful because they’re just too awful to not accurately capture the marketed message about American public education.”