This past spring, Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation establishing the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards (MCCRS) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup. The MCCRS are Maryland’s incorporation of the Common Core Standards and the PARCC is the new student assessment test that accompanies those standards.
The Workgroup includes legislative members and representatives of state and local education agencies, unions, parent associations, student councils, principals, and experts in education and business. The Workgroup met three times over the summer and has four meetings planned this fall. There are thirteen goals of the Workgroup relating to identifying best practices of local education agencies in the State and in other jurisdictions that are successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC assessments.
The preliminary report shares the following information:
- The Workgroup begins each meeting with a local school system presentation about a best practice it uses to support the successful implementation of the MCCRS and/or PARCC. The Workgroup is developing a survey for distribution to local school districts about the curricular resources teachers need now to implement the College and career-Ready Standards and other topics related to the Workgroup.
- The Workgroup discussed the budgetary impact of technology infrastructure and support for the PARCC assessments, and noted that there have been some suggested changes to the testing that would reduce the amount of time needed for the tests in certain grade levels. As far as building a schedule to meet the technology requirements, the Workgroup discussed this during a Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) presentation on July 25. The schedule in the presentation is as follows:
- July – Establish two-way communication processes that keep all team members informed and involved in the work of the group.
- August – Initial meeting to review the charge, goals, available resources, and calendar. Set roles/responsibilities. Provide PARCC/Pearson and other online assessment updates
- September – Report of device readiness. Introduce tool to monitor gaps in devices/headphones. Discuss mobile devices and wireless for testing.
- October – Report of STC gap analysis. Review training calendars
- November – PARCC/Pearson updates. Paper testing….why and where?
- December – Begin planning for Infrastructure Trial
- January – Continue Infrastructure Trial prep, Pearson/PARCC updates
- February – Assess Infrastructure Trial results
- March – Review Operational PBA
- April – Provide updates on EOY
- May – Assess EOY and online testing in 2014-15PGCPS has created a comprehensive schedule that is posted on their website.
- With regard to how the State Department of Education plans to assist local education agencies in preparing parents and students for the PARCC assessments, Laura Motel, Communication Specialist at MSDE, said that communication strategies include producing print resources, posting online information, organizing demonstrations, inviting the media to visit schools, and the using social media to push out information. A flash drive containing resource documents was mailed to each school district so they could print materials for distribution to parents, staff and/or students.
The final report is due in December 2014.
For more information, see the preliminary report and the Workgroup’s page on the Maryland Department of Education website. Also, see our previous posts on the topic of PARCC implementation, School Systems Prepare For Common Core Testing Changes, Estimated $100M Needed for MD Schools to Administer New Assessments.