Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers | PARCC
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

By Laura Slover, CEO, Parcc Inc.

As teachers and students across the country head back to the classroom, it’s a good time to catch up on what’s been happening with the PARCC assessments, and what’s next in the ongoing effort to implement high quality assessments, and to constantly improve them. So here’s a roundup of the latest news, and what’s to come.

  • Educators from around the country have just concluded the intensive process of setting performance levels, or “cut scores.” These are what give meaning to the scores that students receive. Educators reviewed actual student results and compared them to the expectations, setting the cut scores for five performance levels – the lowest indicating that the student is not yet meeting expectations, and the highest, level 5, indicating the student has done distinguished work. Level 4 indicates readiness for the next grade level and, in high school, that a student is on track for college and careers. 
  • Do you ever wonder how the millions of PARCC tests are being scored? So did National Public Radio. Listen: How Standardized Tests Are Scored.
  • PARCC states are getting ready to unveil what many educators say is the most exciting element of the entire PARCC assessment system – a library of formative instructional tools. These are formative tools that give students engaging performance-based problems and tasks, and give teachers vital information—throughout the school year—about progress in students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • The PARCC assessment system is about much more than just the annual tests. Watch as classroom teachers talk about how they use some of the PARCC resources: PARCC and Teaching Channel "Planning to Assess" Series.
  • Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday and I spoke about PARCC what it means to have high expectations for students. Watch it here: Fox News Power Player of the Week.
  • Creating great tests requires educators to be experts in how to make the tests accessible to all students. Debbie Sternecky, a teacher of English learners, explains: Educator in the Spotlight: PARCC Bias and Sensitivity Review.
  • Curious about how some of the largest national educator organizations are preparing for the upcoming score releases? Join the Learning First Alliance for a webinar on Sept. 22. Register: “Let’s Talk Data: What Common Core Test Results Tell Us About Teaching and Learning” and again on Sept. 24 at 8 pm Eastern Time for a Twitter Town Hall: #CCSSdata: Using Common Core Data to Help Students and Teachers Grow. Follow @LearningFirst for more details.
  • In case you missed it: following a successful spring test administration, the education chiefs from the PARCC states voted this past spring to shorten the test and administer it all in one testing window. Check it out: PARCC Test Changes and Highlights

Laura Slover is the Chief Executive Officer of Parcc Inc., the nonprofit organization that manages the assessment project for the PARCC states.

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