Recent PARCC Assessment Updates and News (week of 9/23/13)

Posted by Ryan Hack on Sep 23, 2013 11:51:00 AM

parcc online assessment infoWe've fielded a lot of questions recently about the PARCC online assessments, including:

  • "How do they work?" 
  • "What do students need to know?"
  • "When will the consortium release new info regarding...?, etc." 

The answers to these questions are often available, but they may not be common knowledge. With that in mind, here's a rundown of the newest PARCC news and information we felt required sharing: 

PARCC puts out bids for various technical aspects

According to a new Education Week article, the folks at PARCC recently requested bids for the tests, specifically to establish a platform for delivering the tests and developing a data management and storage system. PARCC is referring to these requests as a “technology bundle”, and this bundle comes with quite a price tag – approximately $17 million.

It's important to note this “technology bundle” doesn’t include analytics. Also, the PARCC won’t release the specific bid awards until December. The short time between now and the scheduled testing roll-out in 2014 may present a crunched time period for the creation, testing, and operation of these elements.

The need for test modeling and practice becomes more apparent

The new bid requests are not the only recent development ifor the PARCC assessments. Teachers and administrators we interact with are noting the new need for their students to be able to satisfactorily use tablets and computers. This, in turn, may require additional instruction in basic keyboarding, testing functionality, and word-processing.

While teachers and administrators aren’t reluctant to ensure that students are digitally literate, finding the time and resources for that instruction can add to the challenge. The value of teaching digital literacy is something we've discussed before and will be increasingly imporant as the online Common Core tests arrive.

States exit from PARCC testing obligations

By combining info from a recent Education Week article and Getting Smart blog post, we've identified seven former PARCC member states (Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana Utah, Georgia, and Oklahoma) have either exited the Consortium or are awaiting a final decision.

However, this defection hasn’t seen widespread acceptance. According to the Massachusetts education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, the PARCC tests will be "ready on time". Rhode Island's education Commissioner Deborah Gist also reaffirmed her state's choice to stay the course with PARCC, mentioning that the online Common Core-based tests will be "worth taking" because they require students to solve "real-world problems, apply knowledge, show their work, and explain their answers."
 


Click here to download the free Wowzers PARCC eBook


Topics: Common Core Assessments

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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