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Stepping Out! Save the Date! Testing window begins in XXX for PARCC part 1: The performance-based open-ended response assessment. Testing window begins.

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Presentation on theme: "Stepping Out! Save the Date! Testing window begins in XXX for PARCC part 1: The performance-based open-ended response assessment. Testing window begins."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stepping Out! Save the Date! Testing window begins in XXX for PARCC part 1: The performance-based open-ended response assessment. Testing window begins XXX for PARCC Part 2: The end-of-year assessment. STATE voluntarily adopted new, more rigorous academic standards in 2010 to support our students by providing them with an education that not only leads to a high school diploma, but also prepares them for success after graduation—whether it is college or the workforce. Local school districts have developed their own curriculum to meet the new standards, and teachers have enhanced their daily instruction to help our students stay on track. However, higher standards alone are not enough to ensure that our students receive the excellent education they deserve. We also need high-quality assessments to measure students’ progress toward the new standards. The organization that is responsible for developing the assessments in our state is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). 1. Why do we need a new assessment? The PARCC assessments reflect K-12 standards that are aligned with postsecondary expectations. They will not only evaluate students’ progress, but also show teachers and families where a student needs help or is excelling so they are able to personalize instruction to meet individual student needs. These tests will help us ensure all students, regardless of income or family background, have equal access to a world- class education that will prepare them for success. The PARCC assessments serve as an educational GPS system, assessing where a student currently is so educators can determine the best route for that student toward career and college readiness. 2. How is this better than the previous state assessments? PARCC assessments are tests worth taking made up of texts worth reading and problems worth solving. They provide a more accurate picture of student understanding than previous tests because they ask students to show and apply what they know, instead of just picking the correct answer from a multiple-choice question. The high school assessments reflect what students must know each year as they build toward the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers. During the high school English language arts/literacy exam, students analyze the ideas and arguments of others and learn to strengthen their understanding of how to make their own arguments in both speech and writing. The mathematics exam asks students to show their procedural skills, conceptual understanding and modeling and application skills, with a particular focus on deepening their understanding of connections among expressions, equations and functions; geometric ideas including transformations, similarity, congruence and proof; and statistics and probability. By letting students know they are on track before they graduate, the PARCC assessment opens the door to college and careers and gives them a ticket to enter directly into credit-bearing courses.

2 Stepping Out! Technology tools, such as the highlighter, line reader and magnifier, promote student independence. The students are the drivers of their own testing experience which gives them confidence. Students can change the text size or have the computer read to them. Most of these tools are available to any student; however, some accommodations require prior documentation. Students can run through a technology tutorial and become confident in using the technologies prior to taking the PARCC assessments. 6. How long do the tests take? Are there different times for different students? PARCC assessments are designed to measure what students truly know and can do in each grade level. Today’s students need to develop solid thinking and reasoning skills, which PARCC aims to measure. These types of skills take time to demonstrate on high-quality test questions. However, this does not mean that more time is taken away from instruction. In fact, the new test design actually translates into more time focused on the kinds of tasks that prepare our students for their next step, rather than spending time on memorization and test prep. Most students will spend about four hours each on the mathematics and English language arts/literacy portions of the test. Those will be broken down into smaller units that will take most students 40 to 60 minutes each, though schools will schedule up to 90 minutes for each unit to make sure that all students have the time they need. Most students will only participate in testing for an hour or two at most in a day and only for a few days during the testing window. Students with disabilities and English learners may have more time, if identified in IEP, 504 plans, or EL plans in states that require them. 7. Which math test does my student take? Algebra I, II and geometry or mathematics I, II, and III Every student’s pathway in high school mathematics may be slightly different. INSERT DISTRICT/SCHOOL POLICY HERE. 3. Who helped create the test? Classroom teachers and other local educators from YOUR STATE have dedicated thousands of hours to the development of the PARCC tests and will continue to be involved at every step of the test and report design process. More than 30 educators and other experts, including parents and community members, reviewed each test question. Higher education professors and instructors have also collaborated alongside classroom teachers since the beginning to ensure the assessments track students’ progress toward college and career readiness. 4. What does the test look like? Some PARCC test questions may look unfamiliar. While old tests were looking for the right answer, these tests are also looking for evidence that the student understands and can apply concepts. The PARCC test is broken into two sections and given at two different times, in order to measure various kinds of knowledge and skills. The early spring, performance-based component includes longer questions that usually require multiple steps. It measures critical thinking, reasoning and the ability to apply skills and knowledge in reading, writing and mathematics. Students participate in the end-of-year component shortly before the end of the school year. This consists of innovative, short-answer questions to measure concepts and skills. They also show understanding of mathematics concepts, procedures and short applications. Visit parcconline.org to try one of the practice tests for yourself!parcconline.org 5. What role does technology play? Why are the tests computer-based? In a globally competitive era, 21 st century technology should be available for all students, not just an option for some. In fact, YOUR STATE and YOUR DISTRICT are working to increase student access to technology as a tool for enriching instruction. In our SCHOOL /DISTRICT /STATE, students will take the PARCC COMPUTER/ PAPER/ COMPUTER AND PAPER based assessments. Insert STATE/DISTRICT specific information on plans to move toward CBT if they are currently offering pencil and paper. Because there are far more accommodations built into the computer test, all students will have the opportunity to show what they know on their own.

3 Stepping Out! enrollment opportunities or accelerated learning classes (e.g., AP courses). All students will receive information about their performance during their high school years, so they can work with their teachers to decide what interventions they may need to catch up if they are not yet on track. You can read more about the PARCC college- and career- ready determination here: 10. What can I do to support my student? The best place to begin is to talk with your child’s teacher to determine which skills to reinforce at home. Visit your student’s classroom; you will see some new approaches that our teachers are using with students to prepare them for college and careers. Attend parent-teacher conferences and talk with teachers about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask how you can best support your child at home. Today’s students may learn subjects in new ways that are different from how you and I learned when we were in school. Don’t worry; you can still help your child by praising progress, using resources that teachers send home, and communicating directly with teachers. You do not have to be an expert in a subject to help with homework. Show your student that you think homework is important. One of the best ways that parents can help is by asking supportive questions about homework and projects done in school. At home, read both non-fiction and fiction, with and in front of your child, and discuss what you read. Make a habit of having daily chats with your kids. Ask them to research different options for college and jobs. Explore books, programs and articles that address the topics of interest. Observe his or her strengths and reinforce skills used to find answers or solve problems. Encourage your child to use the knowledge he or she has acquired and then apply it to other situations. INSERT DISTRICT/SCHOOL SPECIFIC INFORMATION HERE 8. What information will I get about my student’s educational progress? The PARCC assessments will demonstrate to high schools, families, students, colleges, universities and employers the extent to which students have mastered English and mathematics content skills to ensure their success in entry- level, postsecondary courses and careers. PARCC scores will also serve as an early indicator, as far back as middle school, to teachers, students and parents signaling whether students are on track for college and careers. This will enable interventions for students prior to and during their senior years. Students who show they are proficient on the assessments will be exempt from taking remedial courses prior to college, saving their family from spending money on remediation courses that earn no college credit. PARCC and educators in YOUR STATE have partnered to design a student assessment report that is easy to understand and provides detailed information on how your child is progressing and where extra support may be needed. The report is intended to help you work with your student’s teachers and school officials so you all can decide how best to support your child’s needs. Look for helpful links to access more information. 9. What is a college-and-career ready determination and what does it mean for my student? PARCC implementation represents a paradigm shift away from traditional postsecondary placement testing toward using students’ high school performance to measure college readiness and holding states accountable for providing students with the academic foundation they need to successfully access postsecondary opportunities. More than 700 colleges and universities in PARCC states are participating in the development of the PARCC assessments with the objective of using them to determine readiness for college. Performance on the PARCC assessments will provide clear messages to students, counselors, parents and teachers about what students must accomplish to graduate high school ready to enter college credit-bearing courses at public colleges and universities without remediation. Students who earn a PARCC college- and career-ready determination during high school may choose to explore dual


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