News & Updates
Friday, July 10, 2015
This past April I was a member of a bias and sensitivity review panel for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), in Denver for three days. The purpose of the panel was to review draft PARCC test questions for possible bias and insensitivity. The group consisted primarily of K-12 educators and higher education administrators, as well as a few teachers from all across the United States.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
The PARCC states have released mathematics performance-based practice tests. These practice tests add to the resources available to teachers, schools, students and parents so they can gain familiarity with the types of questions and the computer platform.
Below is a schedule of the versions of the practice tests and when they will be available.
- Grades 4 & 7, Algebra I: Posted
- Late June: Remaining grades
English Language Arts/Literacy
- Braille-ready file: Mid-June
Additional mathematics and English language arts practice tests, including large print, screen reader and Braille versions are available. These include:
PARCC would like to provide additional guidance to support student practice and exposure to the online assessment, given the practice opportunities that are currently available.
PARCC has two assessment components, Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and End of Year (EOY). There are similar item interactions, item types, and functionality across these two components. The only major difference in functionality is the text entry box, which is used for constructed response items in the PBA component.
For students who use braille or screen reader software on the English Language Arts/Literacy EOY component, students can practice on the PBA component, as the only difference in item types would be the removal of the text entry items.
For students who use braille or screen reader software on the Mathematics PBA, the students can currently practice with screen reader accommodated versions or .BRF files on the Mathematics EOY. As a note, the Mathematics PBA component differs from the released EOY component by the additions of the constructed response items. For the braille format, PARCC will be releasing one .BRF file in each grade band (grade 4, grade 7, and Algebra I) to allow students to practice answering the open ended items in Mid-March. For the screen reader format, PARCC recommends that students use the English Language Arts/Literacy PBA to practice entering responses in the text entry box. This will provide students with exposure to the functionality and how it will work on test day. Please see the scribe protocol for details.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace sat down with Parcc Inc. CEO Laura Slover last week to talk about the PARCC assessments and the Common Core State Standards. Check out the entire segment below.
Watch the latest video at Fox News.
"For too long in this country, success has been really a function of what income level parents have and where they grow up ... this is a step in the right direction."
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Last week marked the end of testing in the PARCC states. Nearly five million students in 11 states and the District of Columbia completed more than 17 million online test sessions and a yet-to-be-tallied number of paper test sessions. This is a remarkable accomplishment. I am in awe of what we have accomplished together — states, higher ed partners, advocates, and educators — on behalf of kids.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Last week the PARCC states publicly shared news of the assessment design changes they unanimously approved. There has been considerable news coverage (more than 250 stories and counting) and much of it similar in content and tone: accurate description of the three major changes (reduced hours, consolidated testing window, and fewer testing units) and general appreciation for the streamlined process and shorter testing time.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
More than 20 educators from schools and districts in seven states gathered this month to provide feedback and recommendations on the upcoming Test Administration Training Manuals.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Washington, DC — The PARCC Governing Board, made up of the state education commissioners and superintendents, voted Wednesday to consolidate the two testing windows into one and to reduce total test time by about 90 minutes beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The vote came in response to school district and teacher feedback during the first year of testing and a careful review of the test design.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
PARCC test scores could have new meaning for students who apply to and are accepted at Southern Arkansas University (SAU). On May 6, SAU joined the ranks of the PARCC Pioneers and formally incorporated the PARCC assessments into its placement policies and practices.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Cost comes in under projection
Washington, DC — The group of states developing the PARCC tests in English language arts/literacy and mathematics announced Friday it has selected a contractor to continue to develop and implement the summative assessment portion of the tests.