PARCC “On Time, On Task”

PARCC chiefs held a conference call Monday to share important updates on PARCC state participation and key areas of the consortium’s progress (see EdWeek coverage here). Laura Slover and Margaret Horn followed up with advocacy and policy partners today.  The message was “PARCC is on time, on task,” and 14 states and the District of Columbia have committed to field-testing the assessment in the spring of 2014.

That level of commitment doesn’t include once PARCC strongholds Florida or Kentucky. This week, Indiana and Pennsylvania joined Georgia, Oklahoma, and Utah as former PARCC states (some have formally resigned, others are watching and waiting).  That makes about a dozen states going their own way–more fall out than I had anticipated but not necessarily a bad thing.  It will reduce comparability but could create a stronger market for assessment innovation.

Last week PARCC Unveiled Pricing that was higher than some of us anticipated. The calls this week clarified that the $29.50 is a conservative estimate.  However, the loss of a handful of states won’t help on pricing–particularly for states planning a year or two of paper and pencil scoring.

Rhode Island chief stressed that PARCC is producing “tests worth taking,” high quality assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards.  Slover stressed PARCC’s focus on “items that test conceptual understanding and bridge to post-secondary education.”

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment

Tom Vander Ark

Important note: the estimated price of $29.50 assumes no automated scoring--a very conservative approach. The use of automated scoring could lower the cost of these tests by about one third. PARCC will test approaches to automated scoring after field trials in 2015.

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