10 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about the PARCC

March 05, 2016 0 Comments

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states that have collaborated to develop a replacement to the standardized tests that public school students traditionally took at the end of the year. The new test is more rigorous from that of its predecessor. The PARCC consortium received funding in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Education and testing has been administered in several schools already. However, the test is still fairly new and parents and students may have a lot of questions, concerns, and anxieties about it. Listed below are 10 things every parent needs to know about PARCC. 

1) PARCC aims to assess college readiness

The PARCC goal is to produce testing that aligns more evenly with the common core standards that are now in place and to prepare students for college level courses and global competition. In keeping with this goal, the tests are rigorous and include some essay questions.

Students in grades 3 – 11 are required to take the test. English, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and mathematics are the core subjects emphasized on the test. The PARCC cooperative views these areas of academics as being more relevant to employers and colleges.

2) Higher education supports PARCC 

Higher education is a participant in developing the newer PARCC tests. College level educators are in unity with PARCC’s objectives. One-third of all students entering college are in need of remedial classes, reflecting the need to identify gaps in education before college, not after. Only 39% of students who took the ACT college-entrance exam in 2013 met all four of the Act college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading, and science. Furthermore, educators will be using test scores as a guide to students entering college.

3) The test design has changed

In May 2015 the board voted to change the design of the test in 2 ways; the test will now be shortened to approximately 90 minutes, and it will be administered during one session versus 2 sessions. The testing will occur when 75 -90 % of the school session has been completed and generally takes 1-2 weeks for the school to complete the testing process.

4) It’s a tougher test

The proponents for the PARCC testing state that the new tests are created to ensure students have the ability to solve problems using analytical skills, not merely memorization. Therefore, the test questions will be more probing in nature. Students will be required to give evidence to support their answers, not simply look for the right answer.

5) It’s technology-based

The PARCC is computer-based which will be yet another way for students to ensure they are prepared for the technological world beyond school.

6) ELL students and those with disabilities can take the PARCC

The PARCC is working diligently to provide testing to all students, including those with disabilities or language barriers.

7) Preparation is important  

Parents are encouraged to assist their child to study the test. A vast supply of resources are available, including practice tests so you have an idea what the test will entail.

8) Your child’s scores will not affect grades or graduation  

Some parents may be concerned that the PARCC test will be held against their child if he/she does not do well, but this is not so. PARCC does not impact a student’s grades in any way. Additionally, a student may graduate even if he/she has not passed the PARCC-administered test as long as the other criteria is met.

9) The scores are not difficult to read

Score results are simple to understand and will provide both parent and educator a clear picture of where the child’s strengths or weaknesses lie. Furthermore, each state that participates, publishes its score results online here.

10) Your child's score will not be available for all to see

Students who participate in the PARCC testing will not be identified or have their data shared via internet or database with the federal government.

Testing time is just about upon us and we at Test Tutor are here to assist you in each step of the journey. Learn more about the PARCC here!


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