IN THE NEWS
posted: Sat, Jan 17th, 2015
Learning about PARCC
About four times a year, CMS holds workshops and informational sessions that address issues in parenting and education. The most recent meeting, held during the second week of January, featured a discussion on the PARCC exams – the new standardized tests in math and language arts that will replace the state’s NJASK and HSPA this spring.
PARCC is an acronym for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and represents a consortium of states that formed to develop unified assessments that gauge a student's progress toward achieving the Common Core State Standards. The developed exams are intended to provide schools, teachers, students, and parents with better information on whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school.
Principal Kevin Moore, the host for the evening’s events, began with a brief overview of the PARCC tests.
“PARCC is more rigorous than the NJASK,” he said. “It requires students to use what they know. In math, it sometimes asks students to explain how they came up with their answers.”
The tests will be taken on computers, although students will have pencil and paper to work out the math problems. Mr. Moore assured the approximately 50 parents in the audience that the school will prepare students as much as it can for the exams.
Dr. Patrick Tharrett, school psychologist, followed Mr. Moore’s presentation with a discussion on the types of accommodations that will be provided to students with special needs and English language learners in order for the exams to properly measure their skills and abilities.
Parents then adjourned to the computer lab and spent about half an hour completing sample PARCC questions in math and language arts exactly as their children will later this spring. For many, seeing the way the questions tested critical thinking and the ability to analyze information was an eye-opening experience.
On hand to answer questions and provide support along with Mr. Moore and Dr. Tharrett were social worker Danielle Ferrone, learning disabilities teacher consultant Susan Pensak, speech therapist Melissa Marino, and teachers Lori Contorno, Deb Ryder, and Ann Scotland.
For more on PARCC and PARCC sample tests, check out parcc.pearson.com and edcite.com.
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