PARCC Releases Draft Writing Access Accommodations Policies for Public Comment

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PARCC Releases Draft Writing Access Accommodations Policies for Public Comment


WASHINGTON - February 8, 2013 - The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) today released for public comment a draft policy that proposes accommodations for students with disabilities who need assistance expressing themselves in writing or typing on a computer. This release is part of a collaborative effort to create an assessment that will help all students prepare for college and career readiness and assess the full range of student performance on skills vital for competitiveness.

The draft policy includes recommending two writing access accommodations - specifically, a scribe and word prediction software - on the English language arts (ELA)/literacy summative assessment for students with disabilities who meet the accommodation eligibility criteria. 

Trinell Bowman, who co-chairs the PARCC operational working group on Accessibility, Accommodations, and Fairness, emphasized that these accommodations will give students a greater opportunity to show what they know and are able to do on the assessments.

"The proposed policy continues to build upon PARCC's commitment to providing access to students with disabilities through the use of various technology resources. In addition, the eligibility criteria will continue to expect the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team to use measurable data to make informed decisions regarding an individual student's need as well as the mode of delivery for the accommodation. The use of technology for these writing access accommodations will greatly assist schools with flexibility and reduce the need for staff members who would otherwise provide these accommodations," said Bowman, Program Manager with the Maryland State Department of Education.

"The PARCC state leads and experts have given considerable thought and research to the proposed writing access accommodation," said Tamara Reavis, Achieve's Senior Adviser for Assessment, Accessibility, and Equity. "This accommodation, as well as the reading access and calculator use accommodations, will increase accessibility for students. In addition to these policies, PARCC will have a full range of embedded supports for all students, taking full advantage of an online platform."

The public review period allows for feedback from a wide group of stakeholders, including K-12 educators, curriculum and assessment experts, and interest groups. From February 8 through February 20, 2013, the draft writing access accommodation policy and survey will be posted on the PARCC website for interested parties to provide feedback at:

The feedback will be reviewed by the PARCC state leads and the technical working group for Accessibility, Accommodations and Fairness, and revisions will be made accordingly.

This is the third accommodation policy PARCC has released for public comment. On January 16, 2013, PARCC released two draft accommodations policies for public comment, the reading access accommodation and the calculator use accommodation. The public comment period for those two policies closed on February 4, 2013. The entire set of policies will be included in the PARCC Accommodations Manual, which details all accommodations provided to students with disabilities and English language learners. The PARCC Accommodations Manual is expected to be made available for public comment in April 2013.

For more information or to view the policies, visit


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