As reported in the Cumberland Times-News, at a recent meeting of the Allegany County Board of Education, board members were shown sample Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests. PARCC is a new assessment tool that corresponds to the federal “Common Core” curriculum guidelines.
MACo has raised concerns regarding potential costs of the new PARCC tests, most recently in a hearing on HB1388 State Department of Education – Assessment Report for Broadband Capabilities in Public Schools, which seeks to assess the readiness of local school systems to implement the tests.
The PARCC tests are online assessments that can be taken by using a personal computer, laptop or tablet media, as described by the Times-News. In MACo’s testimony on HB 1388, we highlighted the need to identify possible state and private funding sources to help school systems acquire the technology needed to administer the PARCC assessments.
In the Allegany County demonstration of the new test, Marsha Miller, assessment and testing coordinator, displayed the sample tests in English language arts and math on overhead monitors and described them to the Allegany County Board.
“This is the way kids learn now,” said Laurie Marchini, board president.
The tests feature fewer multiple choice questions than past tests and use more critical thinking skills.
“I think it will be hard and that is good. I think it should be hard,” said Mike Llewellyn, board member.
According to the Times-News, some initial PARCC tests will be given this year to act as field tests for the new Common Core Curriculum. Schools that will be participating in the pilot PARCC field testing program include Washington Middle School, Mountain Ridge High School and the Center for Career and Technical Education.