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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium featuring two states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Educational Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education, that work to create and deploy a standard set of K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English,[1] based on the Common Core State Standards.

The PARCC consortium was awarded Race to the Top assessment funds in September 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education to help in the development of the K–12 assessments. PARCC has included educators in the development of its assessments and will consult with more than 200 postsecondary educators and administrators in the development of the assessments.

New Mexico’s governor recently signed an executive order to remove PARCC testing in New Mexico. For the 18-19 year, students will take the NMSBTA (New Mexico standards based transitional assessment).


The PARCC assessments cover two courses – English language arts/literacy and mathematics – for students between Grade 3 and Grade 11. These exams are intended to be used as indicators of student needs and progress for teachers to identify and address.[2]

PARCC has also developed a resource library called the Partnership Resource Center, which provides both teachers and parents with access to "computer-adaptive text complexity diagnostic tools".[3] This initiative is designed to ensure students have access to appropriate-level texts and are prepared to enter college and careers at the right level.

The PARCC assessment is in the process of transitioning to a completely computer-based assessment system, and in the second year of assessments (2015–16), the vast majority of students who took the tests did so on a computer. The assessment platform of choice is TestNav provided by Pearson and the TAO Open Source platform has been chosen for non-summative assessment portions.[4]

When administering the PARCC assessment, states will be able to tailor the exams to their standards, classes, and other accountability tools that are unique to each state.


In the spring of 2010,[1] the District of Columbia decided to join what was, at the time, a group of 24 PARCC states, which included: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

On September 23, 2013, Florida withdrew from Common Core and PARCC, citing unconstitutional involvement by the federal government in states' affairs.[5]

In July 2013, a more accurate price estimation was made at $29.50 per student, higher than expected. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Alabama, Georgia, and Indiana have each filed the appropriate documentation to withdraw from the PARCC consortium as a result of the increased cost and rising public concern about the Common Core Standards.[6]

As of March 25, 2014, only 14 states plus the District of Columbia remained in the PARCC consortium. States that had withdrawn included: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah.

On January 16, 2015, Mississippi state government voted to withdraw from PARCC.[7]

On June 30, 2015, Ohio Governor John Kasich, along with the Ohio House and Senate, agreed to drop the PARCC Mathematics and English assessments after its first year of implementation. PARCC tests were not administered in Ohio during the 2015-2016 school year.[8]

On July 12, 2016 the Illinois State Board of Education voted to continue giving the PARCC test to students grades 3-8, while high school students will take the SAT instead of PARCC.[9]

As of March 2019, the three active PARCC members are the District of Columbia, Louisiana (hybrid, and grades 3-8 only), and Massachusetts (hybrid, and grades 3-10 only).[1][10] PARCC assessments are also used by the federal Bureau of Indian Education, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.[11][12]

Test Participation by States[edit]

State Current Participation Status
Alabama dropped February, 2013[13]
Arizona dropped May, 2014[14]
Arkansas dropped July, 2015[15]
Florida dropped September 2013[16]
District of Columbia current user
DoDEA current user[17]
Georgia dropped July, 2013[18]
Illinois dropped March 2019[19]
Indiana dropped June 2014[20]
Kentucky dropped January, 2014[21]
Louisiana uses hybrid PARCC/state test[22][23]
Maryland dropped September, 2018[24]
Massachusetts uses hybrid PARCC/state test[25]
Mississippi dropped January, 2015[26]
New Jersey dropped February, 2019[27]
New Mexico dropped January, 2019[28]
North Dakota dropped July, 2013[29]
Ohio dropped June 2015[30]
Oklahoma dropped July 2013[31]
Pennsylvania dropped March 2014
Rhode Island dropped April 2017[32]
Tennessee dropped June, 2014[33]

Historical background[edit]

Before No Child Left Behind, The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed in 1965 as a part of the "War on Poverty".[34] In hopes of diminishing the achievement gap, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed to create equal opportunity and access to education through high standards and accountability. These standards and accountability techniques came in the form of standardized testing.[34] For the first time, federal money was being sent into local schools and made the production of test-based evidence mandatory for all educators. Standards were being assessed on these state-created exams, and local schools were then accountable to perform on these exams.[34] In 2002, Congress re-examined ESEA and reauthorized it as No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

ESEA created the accountability tool known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).[34] AYP is a required statewide accountability system which requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make AYP.[34] AYP is simply a “statewide accountability system mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make Adequate Yearly Progress".[35] Ever since ESEA was passed, states and schools across the country have been working to improve its academics standards and assessments to ensure students graduate with the knowledge and skills most demanded by college and careers.[2] As a result of NCLB, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have created state standardized tests for all children across the states and the District of Columbia that are mandatory for graduation from high school. These tests are known as "high-stakes testing" in which schools, administrators, and teachers all become accountable for the test scores of their students.[36]

History of Changes to PARCC[edit]

In 2015, the PARCC consortium reevaluated their assessment program based on feedback from the community of schools, educators, and other consortium members. "After a deep evaluation of the assessment system, PARCC adjusted the requirements to include one summative Assessment (SA) to be completed towards the end of the year," a change implemented for the 2015-16 school year.[37]


  1. ^ a b c "About PARCC". Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Powerpoint Infographic Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Web site (October 11, 2011).
  3. ^ Hain, Bonnie (2011) "PARCC Consortium - A Five Component Assessment Model." Reading Today, 29(1): 24. Academic Search Premier. Web. Available on-line at: Archived 2013-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ [1] parcc selects open source platform for nonsummative assessments
  5. ^ Web site of Governor of Florida: Florida withdraws from PARCC
  6. ^ Cory Turner and Robert Siegel (July 25, 2013) "Common Core Could Be Disrupted As States Drop Out Of PARCC", NPR (National Public Radio). Available on-line at: NPR news
  7. ^ Strauss, Valerie (January 16, 2015). "Mississippi withdrawing from Common Core PARCC consortium". Washington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Ohio dumps the PARCC Common Core tests after woeful first year". July 2015.
  9. ^ "Illinois ends much-debated PARCC test for high school students".
  10. ^ Gewertz, Catherine (2017-02-15). "Which States Are Using PARCC or Smarter Balanced?". Education Week. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Department of Defense Education Activity Joins PARCC". Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  12. ^ "Bureau of Indian Education Strategic Plan" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Alabama Withdraws From Both Testing Consortia". Education Week. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "Arizon na withdraws from PARCC testing group". The Arizona Republic, May 30, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "UPDATED: State Board of Education votes to change school test from PARCC to ACT". Arkansas Times, July 9, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Gov. Rick Scott calls for Florida to drop out of PARCC". Tampa Bay Times, September 23, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Can the mighty US military save embattled PARCC? - The Hechinger Report". The Hechinger Report. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  18. ^ "Georgia The Latest State To Back Out Of K-12 PARCC Tests"., Updated July 25, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  19. ^ Thayer, Kate. "Illinois scraps controversial PARCC test in favor of shorter exam with new name". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  20. ^ "Illinois ends much-debated PARCC test for high school students". Chicago Tribune, July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  21. ^ "Kentucky Withdraws From PARCC Testing Consortium". Education Week, January 31, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  22. ^ "Louisiana To Try Blend of PARCC and State-Developed Assessments -- THE Journal". THE Journal. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  23. ^ "PARCC Is Down to DC Plus Ten States, and Louisiana Isn't One of Them". Huff Post Education, December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  24. ^ Maryland planning new state standardized tests to replace PARCC. Baltimore Sun. September 11, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2018
  25. ^ "Next-Generation MCAS - Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System". Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  26. ^ "State withdraws from testing consortium"., January 17, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  27. ^ Appellate Division Kills Zombie PARCC. Parenting the Core, December 31, 2018
  28. ^ "Governor signs executive order to end PARCC testing". KOB4, January 4, 2019.
  29. ^ "North Dakota Drops Out of PARCC, Commits to Smarter Balanced". Education Week, May 17, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  30. ^ "Ohio dumps the PARCC Common Core tests after woeful first year". The Plain Dealer, June 30, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  31. ^ "Oklahoma Pulls Out of PARCC". "Truth In American Education," July 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  32. ^ "R.I. adopting Mass. test to measure student performance, ditching PARCC". Povidence Journal, April 13, 2017.
  33. ^ "Who will develop Tennessee’s next standardized test? Here are some contenders". Chalkbeat Tennessee, September 17, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  34. ^ a b c d e "Elementary and Secondary Education Act", Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. OSPI, n.d. Web (October 11, 2011).
  35. ^ "California Department of Education." Adequate Yearly Progress. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct 2011. Available on-line at: California Dept. of Education
  36. ^ Au, Wayne (June 2007) "High-Stakes Testing and Curricular Control: A Qualitative Metasynthesis", Educational Researcher, 36(5): 258–267. Available on-line at: Sage Publishing.
  37. ^ Adams, Marisa, Lyons, Julie (2014). PARCC Guidebook: Success Strategies for Teachers. Lumos Learning. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-1940484556.

External links[edit]