The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)
What is PARCC?
PARCC is a new annual test used to measure students’ progress in English Language Arts and Math. PARCC stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of states (including the District of Columbia) working together to develop a common set of K-12 online tests in English and Math with a focus on preparation for college and careers. These tests are being field tested in the spring of 2014 for use in DCPS starting next year.
Why are we switching to PARCC?
Starting in school year 2014-15, students will no longer take the DC CAS and will instead take the PARCC test. We are switching to the PARCC tests because they will better measure students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for college and career success, while also matching to Common Core standards. PARCC will provide schools with vital information about students’ progress so that educators can both improve instruction and also provide student support where needed.
What are the main differences between the DC CAS and PARCC?
What is field testing and when is it?
Test developers use field testing to ensure that their questions are fair, challenging, and high-quality while schools use it to make sure they are fully prepared to administer the test next year. This spring (April 28-June 6), a select group of classrooms across grade levels will take some part of the PARCC—no DCPS student will take the entire test. Students and their families will be notified individually if a student will be taking the test.
Details about field testing:
- The total estimated time each student will spend testing varies from 2.5 to 3.5 hours a day depending on the grade, subject, and the number of sessions in each subject. Each student can expect to test for between one to three days during the testing window.
- Students With Disabilities (SWD) and English Language Learners (ELL) will participate in the field test. During administration of the field test, some accessibility features and accommodations that are embedded in the online testing platform will not be available yet. Students will still receive accommodations, but just not on the computer.
- Because the purpose of field testing is to test-drive the assessment, students will not receive a score. The field test is only a practice test for DC Public Schools, the school, and the student. The results will be analyzed by test developers to determine whether the questions measure the intended skills at the intended grade level.
Where can I find more information about PARCC?
This is the official PARCC website and here is a more extensive FAQ.