Common Core

PARCC Assessments Begin in Six States

Deborah A. GistAccording to an announcement on the PARCC website, last week a group of approximately 30,000 high school students in six states were the first to take the PARCC assessment. These students in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio and Rhode Island go to schools that use “block scheduling,” which means that they are completing their first courses of the year in a few weeks and are therefore taking the tests in December.

Deborah A. Gist (pictured), commissioner of elementary and secondary education in Rhode Island and a member of the PARCC Governing Board, said, “These assessments in English language arts and literacy and mathematics mark the start of a new era for Rhode Island by incorporating problem-solving, critical reading, and extended written responses – the very skills that our students will need in order to succeed beyond high school.”

The first tests for students in high schools with block schedules will be administered between Dec. 1 and Dec. 19. A second group will take the tests between Dec. 15 and Jan. 16. Each state designates its own, shorter testing period within these testing windows.

The assessments given this month will be paper-based. Starting with the spring 2015 testing period, students in schools that have chosen the option will be able to take their PARCC assessments online. More than half of schools are expected to offer the tests online.

PARCC offers resources to help teachers and students prepare for the new assessments here.

About the Author

Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.

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