Common Core PARCC To Go Live in Six States
Around 5 million students in six states will take the new standardized Common Core test known as PARCC for the first time during the 2014-2015 school year after years of field-testing and controversy amongst parents and educators.
PARCC is the test created by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to align with the new Common Core assessments in English and mathematics. Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, is also in charge of developing a different Common Core exam that will debut next spring.
Later this month, the PARCC exam is being given to some students in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio and Rhode Island.
While millions of students took “field test” versions of the PARCC and SBAC in anticipation of the real assessments, this month marks the first time either of the federally funded tests are officially being given to students.
When PARCC and SBAC first began their work with $360 million federal funds, Education Secretary Arne Duncan was “convinced that this new generation of state assessments would be an absolute game-changer in public education.”
The tests were supposed to better assess student abilities; however, lack of time and money has kept the newly created exams from rising to the groundbreaking level of assessment as hoped.
The assessment has ignited debate and skepticism, and there are still many questions about how it will help students and educators.
The widespread uncertainty about and fear of the Common Core tests is something I hope will change in the very near future as schools pilot the PARCC. Even though it may have harder requirements, our country should not back away from the new Common Core test. Long term, students will achieve more with the PARCC.