tools and Tutorials for EducatorsThe PARCC consortium of states has a wealth of resources for educators, covering issues from test design to technology tutorials.
Professional Development ModulesThe PARCC consortium is developing online training modules to help teachers, school leaders, and testing coordinators understand the new PARCC assessment system and put the high-quality assessments to work for them and their students. The tools help educators learn how to read results from the assessments, make inferences about the results, and identify learning gaps.
Teaching Channel VideosThe Teaching Channel and PARCC states have released the "Planning to Assess: How to Align Your Instruction" video series. The series focuses on using PARCC tools to carefully analyze how standards, evidence, and tasks interact, and on using this understanding to inform instructional decisions. The videos show the link between great assessment and great instruction. This process encourages educators to think about answers to important questions, such as:
- What do students need to know and be able to do to answer a sample assessment item?
- How do I design instructional tasks that demonstrate standards to prepare students for assessments?
- How do I choose complex and meaningful texts?
- How do I develop worthwhile math problems?
The Model Content Frameworks help clarify the standards by illustrating how key content shifts from grade to grade. They also show how teachers and curriculum writers can frame instruction using the standards throughout the academic year. MCFs are neither a curriculum nor a replacement of the standards. Rather they are to be used as a companion to the standards and as a lens through which to analyze and build local curricula.
Model Content Frameworks
Performance-level descriptors (PLDs) in ELA/Literacy and Math outline 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 to signal that they are academically prepared for the next academic material and, in high school, ready for college and career. The PLDs communicate expectations to educators about what types of performance to focus on for each grade level and help local educators develop local curricular and instructional materials.
Performance Level Descriptors
Text Complexity WorksheetsThe Test Complexity Worksheets help guide an educator’s understanding of the standards and outline how to select texts for instructional purposes. The workheets help educators determine text complexity, select a variety of text types, select passages that allow for a range of standards/evidences to be demonstrated, pair passages effectively, and meet demands of bias and sensitivity guidelines. By the time they graduate, students should be prepared to read and analyze the types of complex texts they will encounter after high school. Selecting passages of appropriate type and complexity for use in assessment is integral to this preparation.
Download the worksheets:
Blueprints & Evidence Statement TablesBlueprints are a series of documents that together describe the content and structure of an assessment. These documents define the total number of tasks and/or items for any given assessment component, the standards measured, the item types, and the point values for each. Evidence statement tables and evidence statements describe the knowledge and skills that an assessment item or a task elicits from students. The blueprints and evidence statement tables help educators better understand the design of the PARCC assessments. Review the ELA Test Specification documents or the Mathematics Test Specification documents.
Practice TestsThe practice tests were developed so that students can experience PARCC test items as they appear on the tests. Teachers, students, parents, and others can engage with the sample items using computer-based tools such as drag-and-drop, multiple select, text highlighting, and an equation builder.
PARCC has released online tutorials to help students prepare for and become familiar with the test format and features, including features that make the test more accessible for all students, including those with disabilities and English learners.
Technology TutorialThe technology tutorial is designed to level the playing field so that all students are familiar with the technologies used on the PARCC assessments. Students can run through the tutorial using a school’s devices and become confident in using the technologies before taking the PARCC assessments. The tutorial provides online instruction in how to use the PARCC assessment technology and functionalities. Teachers may consider how best to incorporate similar technologies during instruction throughout the academic year.
PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual: Third EditionThe PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual: Third Edition and supporting appendices and supporting appendices provide details on the common policies and administration guidance for all students taking the PARCC assessments, including but not limited to students with disabilities and English learners.
Download the Third Edition:
How Test Items Are DevelopedPARCC's "Life Cycle of a Test Item" infographic shows the rigorous process PARCC uses to develop an assessment item.
Download the infographic:
Who Makes Policy DecisionsThis one-page overview describes who makes key decisions about issues such as "cut scores," data privacy/security, and testing times; PARCC states as a group or individual states and districts.
Learn more about PARCC policy decisions: