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Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC)

The PARCC test was designed to provide clear information on a child's progress toward meeting grade level expectations and mastering important skills like critical thinking. The score report will give a snapshot of how a child is progressing and shows where he or she excels or needs more support. This information, along with grades, teacher feedback and scores on other tests, will help give a more complete picture of how well a child is performing academically. 

The PARCC assessments serve as an "educational GPS system," assessing students' current performance, and pointing the way to what students need to learn to be ready for the next grade level and, by high school graduation, for college and/or a career.

The PARCC assessments are designed to give schools and teachers more information to improve instruction. Moreover, PARCC is designed to let parents know how their child is progressing academically. This more detailed information can lead to strong engagement between parents and teachers. 

Frequently asked questions:

My child took the PARCC Assessments last year. When will I get results? 

  • After the start of the school year, we will receive individual student reports for each student. This will let parents know how their child is performing compared with other school, district, state and PARCC students.
  • These score reports are designed to identify where a student needs help or is excelling. 

What should I expect the results to show?

Expect information about student strengths and weaknesses in key areas. For example:

  • How well does the student understand math equations or apply mathematical reasoning? 
  • Does the student understand passages from history, science, and literature?

PARCC Performance Levels are described using five categories. The performance levels will tell us where students need support and where they are ready for new challenges. At the high school level, the levels demonstrate who is college and career ready.

I heard that the PARCC Assessments changed for the 2015-2016 school year. What were the changes? How did the changes affect the results?

  • There are no longer two parts to the spring exam. The performance-based assessments and end-of-year assessments have been combined.
  • Overall testing time for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics was reduced by 90 minutes. 
  • The great news is that these reductions will still allow for detailed reporting as to how a child is doing in specific areas of the curriculum.

How do these new state assessments affect my child's ability to graduate?

  • There have always been assessment graduation requirements in Maryland.
  • The core content areas of Algebra I, English 10, Biology and Government have assessment graduation requirements.
  • Algebra I and English 10 are PARCC Assessments, while Biology and Government are the traditional Maryland High School Assessments (HSAs).
  • All students are required to take the PARCC Algebra I or English 10 Assessments when taking the course.
  • After the 2015-2016 school year, all students are required to fulfill the PARCC Algebra I or English 10 assessment requirement.

Is my child required to take any other state PARCC Assessments? 

Yes. The Maryland College and Career Ready Act of 2013 requires all Maryland high school students to take an assessment by the end of 11th grade to determine if they are college and/or career ready. WCPS students will be offered the PARCC English 11 and PARCC Algebra 2 Assessments to meet this legal requirement. Additional scores may be utilized to meet this requirement including SAT, ACT, Accuplacer and others. More information will be forthcoming in the months ahead.