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UPDATES FROM PARCC: New Materials Get “Under the Hood” of Next Generation Assessments Currently in Development

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“These tools will help educators assist staff in both teaching the CCSS and in designing common classroom-based assessments that will help students become college and career ready and to succeed on the PARCC assessments,” said Cindy Journell-Hoch

On April 30, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released a series of documents, including assessment blueprints and evidence statement tables, for the English language arts and mathematics assessments set to debut in 2014–15. The documents were created to help educators and the general public better understand the design of the PARCC assessments. Along with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, PARCC is working to create assessments that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

“These tools will help educators assist staff in both teaching the CCSS and in designing common classroom-based assessments that will help students become college and career ready and to succeed on the PARCC assessments,” said Cindy Journell-Hoch, an elementary teacher specialist for school administration and leadership for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland.

The blueprints shed light on the design of the assessments. They define the total number of tasks and/or items for any given assessment component, the standards measured, the item types, and the point values for each. Evidence statement tables and evidence statements describe the knowledge and skills that an assessment item or a task elicits from students.

“The release of the blueprint and test specification materials comes at a time when teachers are eager to understand how PARCC will assess the CCSS,” said Wendi Anderson, director for PARCC/Innovative Assessment at the Arizona Department of Education. “These materials allow teachers to see ‘under the hood’ of the assessment, to understand how the different elements work together to assess student mastery of the CCSS.”

More information about the assessment blueprints and test specifications, including narrated overview PowerPoints and answers to frequently asked questions are available at http://www.parcconline.org/assessment-blueprints-test-specs.

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