"The early spring performance-based assessment captures critical-thinking, reasoning and application skills through “extended tasks.” In English language arts/literacy, students read passages from real texts – fiction and non-fiction, and sometimes watch video or listen to audio. Then they write, using what they’ve learned from the passages and multi-media sources to support their arguments....
"In mathematics, students solve multi-step problems that require reasoning and address real world situations. This requires students to use mathematical reasoning, make sense of quantities and their relationships to solve real-world problems, and show their understanding. Many previous assessments focused mostly on low-level skills only....
"Students participate in the end-of-year assessment shortly before the end of the school year. This consists of innovative, short-answer questions and items to measure concepts and skills. Students demonstrate comprehension of literary and informational texts and give definitions of words based on their reading of texts, rather than on memorization. They also show understanding of mathematical concepts, procedures and short applications...."
In districts across the country, the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers) is the new standardized assessment that will be used to measure student learning and growth under the Common Core standards.
Using an Item Analysis Flow Chart, teachers who teach Math can better align instruction with the Common Core. By using the chart designed by PARCC, Math teachers will gain a deeper understanding of the standards.
The governor's interference may create anxiety among some parents, students...
"Nor has PARCC arrived in the dark of night. For five years, the state has been moving forward with full intention to test and to test rigorously, the better to judge the academic fitness of our students.
"A local mother — in fact, a teacher — told school officials she would opt out two of her children from the testing this year. That's her right. She said students are overtested, the test questions were unclear, the results would not come back in time to help her individual children. She may be correct on all counts.
"But the test is not intended to boost students' self-esteem. It is meant to measure progress. It should be demanding, just as coursework should be ever more rigorous...."
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