PARCC Releases Huge Sampling of Test Items and Scoring Rubrics
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The states that make up the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) have released test questions from this year's PARCC assessments to allow teachers and parents to see just exactly what makes up the online tests.
According to the organization, the released test questions make up about one full test per grade level for each subject area. Along with questions, the release also includes documentation about learning standards and scoring rubrics with student examples to show what is expected for each type of score.
"This is a game changer for parents. The PARCC assessment is different from the assessments of the past because it requires students to think and show what they know. This is a great opportunity to be transparent so assessment isn't a black box," said Laura Slover, CEO of Parcc Inc., the non-profit organization that manages the consortium, in an article on PARCC's Web site. "We're giving teachers effective targets on which to put together classroom strategies to help their students succeed. They're able to see test questions and understand the concepts that are being measured in each item. As a former teacher I would have welcomed questions like these."
The hope is that the release of the material will let educators better understand how the PARCC test measures student understanding of the standards and help them plan instruction in their classrooms.
PARCC said it was "committed to releasing at least as many items in each subsequent year," in order to demonstrate the wide variety and depth of the items. In some cases English language arts content isn't made available because of copyright restrictions, although the test questions are displayed. Where that happens, the resource refers the user to an original source to get the content upon which the questions are based.
The materials are available on the PARCC Web site in its "partnership resource center." Users may browse through a grade-ordered list of downloads or do a search by resource name, subject and grade level.
Currently, the contents are delivered as PDF files; but in the near future PARCC expects to make the items available in their "native digital format" to allow teachers to use an online test builder to create their own formative assessments for classroom use.
The test items are available at prc.parcconline.org.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.