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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium featuring eight states, the District of Columbia, 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.


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, Colorado, 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]

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 States that had withdrawn included: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah.

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]

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]

As of July 2016, the nine active PARCC members are Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.[1] PARCC assessments are also used by the federal Bureau of Indian Education, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.[9][10]

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. [11]

Test Participation by States[edit]

State Current Participation Status
Alabama dropped February, 2013[12]
Arizona dropped May, 2014[13]
Arkansas dropped July, 2015[14]
Colorado dropped June, 2017[15]
District of Columbia current user
Florida dropped September 2013[16]
Georgia dropped July, 2013[17]
Illinois current user grades 3-8[18]
Indiana dropped June 2014[19]
Kentucky dropped January, 2014[20]
Louisiana uses hybrid PARCC/state test[21][22]
Maryland current user
Massachusetts current user[23]
Mississippi dropped January, 2015[24]
New Jersey current user
New Mexico current user
North Dakota dropped July, 2013[25]
Ohio dropped June 2015[26]
Oklahoma dropped July 2013[27]
Pennsylvania dropped June, 2013[28]
Rhode Island dropped April 2017[29]
Tennessee dropped June, 2014[30]

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".[31] 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.[31] 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.[31] 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).[31] AYP is a required statewide accountability system which requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make AYP.[31] 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".[32] 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 learning that is taking place in their classrooms.[33]

“In recent years, PARCC received a $186 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top assessment competition to support the development and design of the next-generation assessment system. PARCC has led the movement towards creating Common Core State Standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. PARCC is the next generation of standardized testing.”[2]

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.[34]


  1. ^ a b c "About PARCC". Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c 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:
  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. ^
  9. ^ "Department of Defense Education Activity Joins PARCC". Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  10. ^ "Bureau of Indian Education Strategic Plan" (PDF). 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Alabama Withdraws From Both Testing Consortia". Education Week. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Arizona withdraws from PARCC testing group". The Arizona Republic, May 30, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "UPDATED: State Board of Education votes to change school test from PARCC to ACT". Arkansas Times, July 9, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  15. ^ Colorado will no longer give PARCC English and math tests, forging its own path. Denverite, June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Gov. Rick Scott calls for Florida to drop out of PARCC". Tampa Bay Times, September 23, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Georgia The Latest State To Back Out Of K-12 PARCC Tests"., Updated July 25, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  18. ^ "Answer Sheet - Two more states pull out of Common Core". Washington Post, June 5, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  19. ^ "Illinois ends much-debated PARCC test for high school students". Chicago Tribune, July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  20. ^ "Kentucky Withdraws From PARCC Testing Consortium". Education Week, January 31, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  21. ^ "Louisiana To Try Blend of PARCC and State-Developed Assessments -- THE Journal". THE Journal. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ "Next-Generation MCAS - Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System". Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  24. ^ "State withdraws from testing consortium"., January 17, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  25. ^ "North Dakota Drops Out of PARCC, Commits to Smarter Balanced". Education Week, May 17, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  26. ^ "Ohio dumps the PARCC Common Core tests after woeful first year". The Plain Dealer, June 30, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  27. ^ "Oklahoma Pulls Out of PARCC". "Truth In American Education," July 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  28. ^ "A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced". deutsch29 Blog, July 21, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  29. ^ "R.I. adopting Mass. test to measure student performance, ditching PARCC". Povidence Journal, April 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "Who will develop Tennessee’s next standardized test? Here are some contenders". Chalkbeat Tennessee, September 17, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  31. ^ a b c d e "Elementary and Secondary Education Act", Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. OSPI, n.d. Web (October 11, 2011).
  32. ^ "California Department of Education." Adequate Yearly Progress. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct 2011. Available on-line at: California Dept. of Education
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ Adams, Marisa;, Lyons, Julie (2014). PARCC Guidebook: Success Strategies for Teachers. Lumos Learning. pp. 3–4. ISBN 1940484553. 

External links[edit]