PARCC board takes key votes, announces field testing plans

The Governing Board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) met on June 26, 2013. The board meets quarterly to make major policy and operational decisions on behalf of the PARCC consortium related to the overall design of the assessment system, PARCC's procurement strategy and other significant issues.

Two important votes were held at the meeting. The opening session was a joint session of the Governing Board and PARCC's Advisory Committee on College and Career Readiness where the joint body voted to approve grade- and content-specific performance level descriptors for both English language arts/literacy and mathematics, which articulate the knowledge, skills and practices that students performing at a given level on the PARCC assessments should be able to demonstrate at each grade level and content area.

In the afternoon session, the Governing Board voted to approve the first edition of the accessibility and accommodations manual, which is a comprehensive policy document that will support local educators in the selection, administration and evaluation of accommodations for the assessment of students with disabilities (SWDs) and English learners (EL) on the PARCC End-of-Year, Performance-Based, and Mid-Year assessment components.

The announcement of PARCC's field testing plans was also unveiled. Earlier this year PARCC concluded successful trial runs of assessment items and questions with 2,300 students in six states. This summer, additional trial runs with 4,800 students in four states will allow PARCC states to continue testing the quality of assessment items and their accessibility for students.

The PARCC Field Test will be administered in spring 2014 to over one million students across PARCC states. During summer 2013, PARCC will select schools for the field test to comprise a representative sample of students across PARCC states. Schools will be notified of their selection in August. After the schools' participation is finalized in fall 2013, a sample of classrooms will be selected to participate from each school. The field test sample size for each state will be proportional to each state's student enrollment (with a minimum sample size). More information is at

The vast majority of students participating in field testing will only take about one-quarter of the PARCC test, and no student participating in field testing will take the full assessment.

A solicitation for contractors to develop the PARCC Diagnostic Assessment and K-1 Formative Tools was released through PARCC's Fiscal Agent state of Florida (LINK). A solicitation to build the Speaking and Listening Assessment will be released in the next few weeks.

The next PARCC Governing Board meeting is scheduled for September 25 in the Washington, D.C. metro area with a site yet to be determined.