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PARCC Releases Tool To Prepare Schools for Rigorous Assessments

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) today announced a new planning tool and guidance for schools and districts to help them get ready for assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

The PARCC assessments will include a set of performance-based tasks crafted to accomplish enable teachers, schools, students and their parents to gain insights into how well critical knowledge, skills and abilities are being mastered.

"Students deserve assessments that measure their readiness for the real world," said Louisiana State Superintendent John White, a member of the PARCC Governing Board. "That means every school should be a technology-rich environment, not just because of tests, but because technology is an essential component of a quality education today. Our schools in Louisiana have made this a top priority, tripling the number of technology-ready districts over the last six months."

The tasks on the assessments will resemble the classroom work students do during the school year and look less like a conventional fill-in-the-bubble or short-answer test.

Preparing for this type of assessment, one that is computer-based and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), necessitates changes in how schools prepare. The PARCC Assessment Administration Capacity Planning Tool provides schools and districts with a calculator that supports local technology budgeting and decision-making in preparation for computer-based administration of the tests in the 2014-2015 school year.

PARCC is also releasing guidance that provides schools and districts with more information about the design of the PARCC assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, as well as the number of testing sessions and the approximate time it will take students to complete the assessments.