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PARCC Briefing Highlights College-ready Determinations Policy

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July 31, 2012

PARCC Briefing Highlights College-ready Determinations Policy

PARCC, one of the two consortia developing assessments linked to the Common Core State Standards, held a briefing on July 30 to update national organizations on their progress. The briefing included detail about a draft College-Ready Determinations (CRDs) Policy which is open for public comment until September 21.

The policy will include five levels which will be used to determine a student’s postsecondary preparedness in English language arts and mathematics. The CRDs will be focused on academic preparation/skills only. Even though PARCC agrees that other skills (e.g. technical) are important to measure, the assessment is intended to measure academic preparedness only. However, those attending the briefing were reminded that the new assessments would include changes, such as the focus on more informational text and computer-based testing. PARCC officials said that they expect both the ELA and mathematics assessments to take longer for a student to complete than current state assessments, due to the essay and other types of questions which will require more time.

When asked about PARCC’s plans regarding career readiness measures, officials reported that plans are not as far along as the CRD policy. There have been a lot of active conversations and the career readiness focus is included in the Common Core State Standards which  have been adopted by most states, but the work is much more challenging, said staff. Mike Krause, director of academic affairs at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, who is also coordinating PARCC-related postsecondary engagement activities in the state, said that his state is preparing students for CTE that requires “some” training. He said that states are approaching the issue of career readiness in a number of different ways.

The briefing included information on some of the upcoming work PARCC expects. The focus is on states for now but over the next year, there will be surveys with local administrators to determine capacity of local educators, including some work on sample items.

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