Why was PARCC developed?
PARCC is a group of states that worked together to develop a set of assessments with the shared goal of finding a more effective approach to measure student achievement under the new academic standards in mathematics and English language arts. In 2010, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted these new standards, known as the Common Core State Standards, after a thorough process that involved public participation, as well as advice and input from all sectors of New Jersey’s education and business communities.
Who was involved in creating the test?
Hundreds of K–12 and postsecondary educators, content specialists and assessment experts from across the PARCC states participated in the development of all PARCC testing items. Many New Jersey educators joined hundreds of educators from around the country to create, review and approve every test item. Each item was reviewed by no fewer than 30 educators prior to field test. Outcomes of the field test were then reviewed by 80 educators prior to inclusion on the operational tests. Educators will come together to engage in both reviewing student responses and standard setting in the upcoming months after the administration of PARCC. Unlike previous tests, many of these test questions will be made available to educators after the exam for future use in classroom instruction.
Is this the first time New Jersey is using a computer-based test?
Computer-based assessments are becoming common for today’s students. For instance, the GED test is now computer-based and the SAT college-entrance exams will also be computer-based. Some states have had all-electronic assessments for years. In addition, districts have incorporated computer literacy into their curriculum.
How will the results of PARCC be used?
For students in New Jersey, passing PARCC isn’t required to advance from one grade to the next. It was not required with the former NJ ASK test, and it is not a requirement of PARCC tests. However, local schools may use PARCC results as one of multiple measures used in determining class placement, such as a gifted program. Parent concerns about how a local district may be using the results to determine student placement should be addressed with the local school board.
Will PARCC sell personal information about students?
No. Protections are in place at both the state and federal levels, and through all contracts and agreements, intended to prevent student-identifiable data from being marketed or distributed. The selling of student data was never allowed under the previous tests in New Jersey, and it is not allowed under the PARCC tests.