All Eyes on PARCC

All Eyes on PARCC
Posted on 10/08/2015

By Dr. John Quinn, Chief Academic Officer for Worcester County Public Schools

As states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) begin to release preliminary data, all eyes are on Maryland’s release this fall. As we prepare to receive countywide reports, we want to ensure that students, parents and our community understand what these results mean once released.

Most important to note is the fact that PARCC is a new assessment, not just an update, but an entirely different assessment designed specifically to evaluate a student’s progress towards college and career readiness. The school and countywide results from this new assessment will be setting a new baseline for growth, and as such, can’t be compared to results of the past like those of the Maryland State Assessment (MSA).

In addition to districts receiving countywide data, parents will also be receiving individual score reports for their child in November. These reports will illustrate exactly where their son or daughter is on the trajectory of college and career readiness. The reports will also provide detailed breakdowns of those skill sets that need to be strengthened for the child to achieve higher levels of success.

With PARCC, parents and teachers will be able identify a student’s overall performance level, likely ranging from minimal up to distinguished (Level 5). They will be able to see how the child’s performance compared with other test-takers in the school, system, state, and country. Most importantly, stakeholders will receive PARCC results on how the child performed in areas associated with specific standards.

Because PARCC is administered online, the results – with the exception of this year – will be returned quickly so teachers can use the results to personalize instruction to meet each child’s specific learning targets. It is anticipated that beginning in 2016-2017, a child’s testing results will be returned in the same school year in which the assessment was administered with the goal to have online results to school systems within two weeks after the end of the testing window. This marks the first time state assessments will serve not only as a snapshot of a student’s proficiency but as a viable instructional tool that can actually have an impact on a student’s instructional plan within the same year as the test’s administration.

To make the changes regarding PARCC and state testing easier to understand, we have worked in conjunction with the Maryland State Department of Education to develop a number of resources that we will be sharing through our website and our schools. Should you have any questions about PARCC, the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards (MDCCRS) or testing in general, I urge you to access these resources from our website homepage at www.worcesterk12.com. You may also contact me at 410-632-5025.