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In July 2012, PARCC released the draft College- and Career-Ready (CCR) Determination Policy and Policy-Level Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) for public feedback. From July through October, PARCC received nearly 800 responses from K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents, and community members, and that feedback was used by PARCC states to help refine the policy. The final CCR Determination Policy and Policy-Level PLDs were adopted by the PARCC Governing Board and the Advisory Committee on College Readiness on October 25, 2012. They will be used by PARCC to guide the development of items and tasks for the PARCC assessments in both English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics and, ultimately, will serve as a guidepost for setting the performance levels for the PARCC assessments.
The PARCC CCR Determinations in ELA/literacy and mathematics describe the academic knowledge, skills, and practices in English language arts/literacy and mathematics students must demonstrate to show they are able to enter directly into and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing courses and relevant technical courses in those content areas at two- and four-year public institutions of higher education. The CCR Determination will provide policymakers, educators, parents, and students with a clear signal about the level of academic preparation needed for success in these postsecondary courses. It will provide a strong indicator of college and career readiness that can be used to set performance goals at any level and show progress towards those goals. Finally, students who attain a CCR Determination in ELA/literacy and/or mathematics will have a tangible benefit – direct entry into relevant entry-level, credit-bearing courses without need for remediation.
The Policy-Level PLDs include both policy claims, which describe the educational implications for students who attain a particular performance level on the PARCC assessments, as well as general content claims, which describe in broad terms the knowledge, skills, and practices students performing at a given performance level are able to demonstrate at any grade level. These PLDs will be used by PARCC to guide the development of items and tasks for the PARCC assessments and will form the basis for standard-setting. They will also be used as a foundation for the development of PARCC’s grade- and subject-specific PLDs, which will profile the knowledge, skills and practices students performing at a given performance level in a specific course or grade level are able to demonstrate. The grade- and subject-specific PLDs will be an important tool for K-12 and postsecondary educators, parents, and students to gain a better understanding of the performance expectations for the PARCC assessments and how student mastery of the CCSS will be evaluated through PARCC. The student assessment scores ultimately reported by performance level for schools and school districts for each grade and subject will also be important components of state accountability and public reporting systems, and numerous other state-specific policies that use student performance results.
Next Steps: PARCC content and assessment experts are currently developing subject- and grade-specific PLDs, which will be released for public comment in early 2013. The Governing Board and ACCR will also begin to consider details of the standard-setting event that will follow the first operational administration of the PARCC assessments in summer 2015 and will result in the identification of threshold scores for all PARCC performance levels.
PARCC College- and Career-Ready Determination Policy and Policy-Level PLDs (Adopted October 2012) (PDF)