In the wake of all the debate over the online PARCC testing tied to the controversial Common Core standards, the Christie administration is going all out to prepare and promote the rollout of the latest test results later this fall.
The administration yesterday sent school districts a slew of resources – ranging from a video for parents to webinars for principals and teachers -- to help them analyze the results for themselves and explain them to the public.
“We are looking forward to sharing PARCC results in the coming weeks and remain committed to ensuring that New Jersey educators are prepared to use assessment data as one tool to measure and ensure academic progress, inform instruction, and improve student learning,” said Bari Erlichson, the assistant education commissioner heading the effort, in a memo to districts.
Included were some key dates:
Release of full-length PARCC exam from last spring: Oct. 23
Release of the statewide PARCC data: end of October
State Board of Education approval of “cut scores” to determine what is considered “proficiency”: Nov. 4
District access to individual student reports for distribution to families: mid-November
The department will provide training for educators on how to use the data to help drive instruction, including online “PARCC toolkits” and “a webinar series to inform educators on how to support daily instruction through the cycle of teaching and learning,” according to yesterday’s memo.
In addition, the department will release further PARCC sample questions “allowing teachers to periodically measure and assess their students throughout the year using activities that mirror the PARCC tasks to ensure they are on track for the end-of-year state test.”
There will also be a fact-sheet and 27 “frequently asked questions” for teachers to refer to in addressing parents’ inquiries.
Resources will also be made available to families, including new materials through the department’s Parent Academy for Student Success, a “Parent Guide to the PARCC Assessment Score Report,” and a PARCC-generated website, UnderstandtheScore.org.
There are also practice tests available through the national PARCC site, and a new video, “Be a Learning Hero,” described as “parent-friendly information and resources on the standards and PARCC tests.”