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New High School Testing Fees Proposed

Updated: Tuesday, April 22 2014, 12:20 AM CDT

Finding out whether high school students are ready for college may soon become a little more expensive.

The Illinois Board of Education is considering a new fee to let students take the ACT exam. The state is currently switching from the traditional ISAT tests to a new computer-based test system called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. It would also replace the ACT for determining college readiness.

The fee would be to cover the ACT test cost for an interim transition period, but some school officials disagree with the entire idea of switching to PARCC.

"Having it all geared around the computers and technology," Williamsville superintendent David Root said. "Kids take these, and having kids take these exams on these computers that not all districts are going to be able to provide. And they won't have any infrastructure to provide these exams. So now we've gotta buy all these things with no money."

Root said the ACT is a proven system, and the current budget climate is a bad time to make this major switch.

According to the State Board of Education, the new PARCC system will provide a systemic evaluation that will be consistent through several grade levels. The idea is that schools will be able to determine what areas students need extra help with as they get older.

New High School Testing Fees Proposed

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