PARCC Grade- and Subject-Specific PLDs

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In October 2012, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) adopted its College- and Career-Ready Determination Policy and Policy-Level Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs). The final version of that document can be found here on the PARCC website. 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.

Using the policy-level PLDs as a foundation, groups of PARCC stakeholders convened over several months between 2012 and 2013 to develop grade- and subject-specific PLDs. These PLDs further articulate the knowledge, skills, and practices that students performing at a given level should be able to demonstrate in each content area at each grade level. The grade- and subject-specific PLDs are intended to serve several purposes, including the following:

  • Communicate expectations to educators about what types of performances will be necessary at the high school-level for students to demonstrate that they are college- and career-ready (CCR) or making adequate progress to become CCR;
  • Communicate expectations to educators about what types of performance will be necessary in grades 3-8 for students to demonstrate that they are academically prepared to engage successfully in further studies in each content area;
  • Provide information to local educators for use in developing curricular and instructional materials;
  • Serve as the basis for PARCC standard setting in summer 2015; and
  • Inform item and rubric development for the PARCC assessments.

The PARCC grade- and subject-specific PLDs were developed and reviewed over several months through an iterative process involving a number of state and local leaders, including:

  • Panels comprised of K-12 educators and curriculum directors and higher education faculty from Governing States;
  • K-12 State Leads and Higher Education Leadership Team members;
  • State agency content experts, including members of the ELA/Literacy and Mathematics Operational Working Groups from Governing States;
  • PARCC item development contractors/subcontractors; and
  • External experts, including the Center for Assessment and PARCC Technical Advisory Committee.

You can view narrated PowerPoint presentations and review and download PLDs for each content area on the corresponding pages linked below.

Please consult the FAQs for answers to general questions about the PLD development process and next steps.

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