PARCC Releases RFP to Build Speaking and Listening Assessments

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Washington, D.C. - October 3, 2013 - The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of states working together to create next generation assessments, today released a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of its Speaking and Listening Assessments. This is the second of three RFPs PARCC will release as part of its suite of Non-Summative Assessments and Tools.  The first was the Diagnostic Assessment and K-1 Formative Tools ITN, which was released in July 2013, and the last will be the Assessment Professional Development Modules RFP, scheduled for release later this month.

Students' ability to communicate effectively, including through speaking and listening, is critical for their long-term success in college, careers and citizenship.  These skills are a key element of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the college- and career-ready academic standards that PARCC states have adopted.

PARCC is building Speaking and Listening Assessments for grades K-12 to help educators assess students' speaking and listening communications skills, which traditionally have been difficult to measure.  The PARCC Speaking and Listening Assessments will provide:

  • Information to schools and school districts that can be used to evaluate and improve the efficacy of instructional programs, materials and professional learning with respect to the Speaking and Listening CCSS;
  • Information to parents and students that indicates student learning and progress in building their speaking and listening abilities;
  • Teacher scoring of assessments to  inform and improve instruction; and
  • Results that are available as soon as possible following administration so that the information can be used to support educators in classroom instruction.
Starting in the 2015-16 school year, the assessment will be available to educators on demand with little set up and preparation required. Students in grades K-12 will have an opportunity to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills each year, but the method of that demonstration will vary by grade level:
  1. Real Time Engagement:  Students will listen to a pre-recorded speech and/or media production and provide spontaneous oral responses to related questions and/or discussion topics (listening and speaking). These performance based tasks will be administered in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
  2. Advance Preparation: Students will conduct research using authentic topics, share their findings in a formal presentation (speaking), and respond spontaneously to audience questions (listening and speaking).  These performance based tasks will be administered in grades 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
In both cases, teachers will score student-produced content based on what they present and/or what they hear.  Both performance tasks will be developed to be instructionally sensitive to English language learners and students with disabilities, including students who may be deaf or hard of hearing, so that all students can show what they know and can do.  The RFP can be found at Responses are due to PARCC by October 23, 2013.
Vendors should sign up for information through If you have questions or would like more information about the RFP and the procurement process, please email:

To learn more about PARCC, visit or follow the consortium on Twitter at or on Facebook at     

Media Contact: Lesley Muldoon, 202-419-1550,




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