PARCC is a consortium made up of 22 states, serving roughly 24 million students. The consortium is funded by a grant provided by the US Department of Education and their task is to develop and design a next-generation assessment system which the common core standards will be tested.
PARCC states have committed to building a K-12 assessment system that:
- Builds a pathway to college and career readiness for all students,
- Creates high-quality assessments that measure the full range of the Common Core State Standards,
- Supports educators in the classroom,
- Makes better use of technology in assessments, and
- Advances accountability at all levels.
Listen up Techies!
The PARCC assessment will be delivered online and the consortium has been busy working on technology guidelines. For those districts that have robust internet connections and the ability to refresh their computers every three years, the guidelines will probably not cause you alarm. However most districts don't have this luxury and have been very creative over the years with extending the life of their hardware. Another detail to be aware of is you may squeak by with the minimum requirement specifications for the 2014-2015 assessment, will most likely not be compatible for the 2015-2016 version according to the guidelines.
There are still many unanswered questions concerning the timeline, funding sources and some who think the assessment will never become a reality. It is also likely the guidelines will have a few revisions before they are in their final version. Whatever your opinion on the PARCC assessment, this is a good opportunity to take a closer look at networks and devices, and reflect on the experience we are providing our students and teachers.