PARCC Governing Board Meets in June, Advances College Readiness Decisions with PARCC Higher Education Committee
Washington, D.C. – June 25, 2012 – The Governing Board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) met on June 20, 2012. The board meets quarterly to make major policy and operational decisions on behalf the PARCC consortium, including decisions related to the overall design of the assessment system, PARCC's procurement strategy, and other significant issues.
The PARCC consortium is made up of 23 states and the District of Columbia. Eighteen of those states have committed to participate only in PARCC and administer the assessments in the 2014-2015 school year. Those 18 K-12 chief state school officers serve on the Governing Board. The meeting included an open, public session and an executive session.
For the first time, chief state school officers and members of the Advisory Committee on College Readiness (ACCR) from PARCC Governing States met on June 20th for a joint session to discuss proposed policies on achievement levels and on determining college readiness in mathematics and English language arts/literacy on the PARCC high school assessments.
Based on Governing Board's changes to the PARCC bylaws on April 3, members of PARCC's ACCR will always join the K-12 chiefs on the Governing Board for discussion and action on key matters related to the PARCC college-ready assessments, such as the evidence to be used to inform standard setting and to validate the assessments as indicators of college readiness; membership in PARCC's standard setting committee, for setting the college ready cut score; and the determination of the college ready cut score.
"States in the PARCC consortium are fully committed to developing an assessment that gives students, parents and the education community information they need about achieving college readiness," said Governing Board Chair Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. "This first joint meeting of state K-12 and higher education leaders demonstrated we are moving toward that goal and that consensus can be reached when we work together."
PARCC is developing high school assessments that will define what it means to be academically prepared for entry-level, credit bearing courses without remediation. This will streamline the transition for students from K-12 to higher education and reduce the number of tests students take by exempting them from additional placement tests with college-ready scores. More importantly, it will send clear and consistent messages to students, teachers and parents throughout high school about their preparedness for college-level work. At the Governing Board meeting, the chief state school officers and ACCR members from Governing States discussed the definition of college readiness in order to set preliminary performance level descriptors, and both draft policies will be vetted with stakeholders over the summer.
"The first joint meeting of state K-12 and higher education leaders continued my belief that we are acting as one, across the entire education continuum, to ensure that we are sending our students the right messages about what it means to be college ready," said Ron Jackson, member of PARCC's ACCR and Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia. "This meeting showed that we have the same concerns and wants when it comes to students' success–and we'll continue to work together to ensure we get it right."
There were a number of issues before the joint meeting of the Governing Board and the Advisory Committee on College Readiness (agenda PDF), which included:
Discussing the shared responsibility for decisions about the key matters related to the PARCC college-ready assessments;
Discussing and approving for further stakeholder input a draft policy for the PARCC college readiness determination in English language arts/literacy and mathematics; and
Discussing and approving for further stakeholder input the draft policy-level performance-level descriptors for the PARCC assessments.
The Governing Board meeting included:
Reviewing the recommitment process for newly elected governors and chief state school officers in PARCC states;
Approving nominations for new members of the Steering Committee;
Approving the minutes of April 3, 2012, Governing Board Meeting; and
Executive session discussions around project management, risk mitigation, procurement strategy and upcoming procurements, as well as policy issues around technology and assessment design.
PARCC is an alliance of states working together to develop common assessments serving nearly 25 million students. PARCC's work is funded through a four-year, $185 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Partners include about 200 higher education institutions and systems representing hundreds of campuses across the country that will help develop the high school component of the new assessment – and then put it to good use as an indicator of student readiness. PARCC is led by its member states and managed by Achieve, a nonprofit group with a 15-year track record of working with states to improve student achievement by aligning K-12 education policies with the expectations of employers and the postsecondary community. PARCC's ultimate goal is to make sure all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. For more information, visit www.parcconline.org.
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