PARCC Field Testing:
In spring 2014, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will administer a field test in English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) and Mathematics to more than 1.35 million students in grades 3–11 across 14 participating member states, including Massachusetts. The sample of students drawn for participation in Massachusetts will equal roughly 15 percent of the statewide enrollment in grades 3–11. ESE will notify districts of their selection beginning late next week. The testing contractor, Pearson, will then send a second communication by the end of August to those districts to provide more details about the field test, including the schools that have been selected, the grade(s)/subject(s), the number of classrooms, the administration mode (computer or paper), and the dates of the testing windows. We will also schedule several conference calls to answer any questions that district staff may have.
The field test is an important milestone in the development of our next-generation assessment system. The purpose of the field test is to understand how test items perform, to see how well those items measure student performance based on the new Common Core State Standards, and to inform test development in preparation for the planned operational launch of PARCC in the 2014–15 school year. No student selected to participate in the field test will take the entire PARCC test in both ELA/L and Mathematics. Most students who are selected will take either the performance-based or end-of-year assessment in one subject. A smaller number of students will take both the performance-based and end-of-year assessments in one subject.
As a reminder, PARCC will not generate any student, school, district, or state-level assessment or accountability results from the field test. The field test is an opportunity for states and the testing contractor to enhance the development of the operational test. It is also a chance for schools to experience the new test—through the field test or a practice test that all schools may access—a year before the operational launch. If you have any questions, please contact ESE’s Student Assessment unit firstname.lastname@example.org.