STREAMLINING PARCC: THE SYSTEM IS WORKING
Next Year PARCC Testing Will Be Consolidated and Shortened
Last week, The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) made up of the state education commissioners in 11 states (including New Jersey) and the District of Columbia voted to streamline next year’s PARCC testing. After administering the test to five million students this year, PARCC gathered feedback from school districts and teachers and enacted changes to improve and simplify the testing process.
Overall, testing time will be reduced by 90 minutes (60 in math and 30 in ELA) and the two testing periods used for this year will be consolidated into one period for next year. The number of test units will also be reduced by two-to-three units. The PARCC commissioners’ goal was to make testing easier for schools to schedule and reduce the amount of time students spend on assessment without diminishing the goal of PARCC: to ensure that all students are being taught what they need to know in order to be successful in the next academic year and ultimately in college or a career.
Given that 2014-2015 was the first year of the PARCC assessment and that districts and schools had to make preparations for the tests to be administered by computer, PARCC was administered over two testing windows and students were given extra time to complete the tests. With a largely problem-free administration this year, and after getting feedback, PARCC has now streamlined the test administration process.
New Jersey Education Commissioner Hespe told the Star-Ledger he's pleased with the changes: "Our commitment in working with the PARCC consortium has always been to ensure that we administer an assessment that is no longer than necessary to accurately gauge student learning.”
This is how the system is supposed to work. We commit to a policy, we analyze the results and we make adjustments. In New Jersey’s case, Commissioner Hespe has consistently made clear that he would monitor the testing process, get feedback from New Jersey’s educators, and then make any necessary changes. Now PARCC has helped him do just that.
B4K applauds PARCC and Commissioner Hespe for working to make PARCC a better test and a better testing experience.