Wednesday, July 6, 2016
By Mike BushnellOver the past year, a diverse range of studies have highlighted that PARCC assessments are of the highest quality in the field, endorsed by the country’s top educators, aligned to nationally recognized standards for educational achievement, predictive of college readiness, and accessible to students with physical disabilities and those who are learning English as their second language.
The Center for American Progress released a report in February 2016, Better Tests, Fewer Barriers: Advances in Accessibility through PARCC and Smarter Balanced, which found that PARCC and Smarter Balanced provide better access for students who need additional support. CAP called both tests a “major step forward in accessibility and accommodation features for students with disabilities and English language learners,” while specifically highlighting PARCC features that make the test “more dynamic and user friendly, particularly compared with paper-and-pencil exams.”
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Human Resources Research Organization also released studies in February that demonstrate that PARCC assessments meet the stringent criteria for high-quality assessments set by the Council of Chief State School Officers, and showed PARCC to be rigorous, aligned to standards, useful to teachers, and accessible to students with disabilities and English learners.
The National Benchmarks for State Achievement Standards Study from the American Institutes for Research, also released in February 2016, found PARCC is the most rigorous multi-state test and closest to the standards set forth by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in its expectations for college readiness.
In November 2015, Mathematica Policy Research reported that PARCC is a strong predictor of success in college, and a Massachusetts Department of Education report found that PARCC assesses the skills that matter most. In addition, teachers who are part of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year in November 2015 reported that, in their view, PARCC is particularly strong at assessing complex skills and aligning closely with high‐quality instruction.
For more information on the studies that have praised PARCC, click here.