Parents should expect two letters coming home about the upcoming PARCC pilot test and which classes are chosen for field test it.
“We’re doing PARCC assessment field testing this spring and all of our schools are involved to some extent and we’ll be bringing the board a presentation about the PARCC field test within the next meeting or two,” said Superintendent Paul Fried at Tuesday’s School Board meeting.
The district’s administration will send out a letter to parents explaining the PARCC field test followed by another letter, “which more specifically let’s them know which classes were selected randomly,” said Fried.
“I know our principals are anxious to find out which one of their classes have been identified,” said Fried. “The State gave us a very prescribed way on how to (implement the) random selection.” He added that the PARCC website also has a guide on the random selection. Fried said that the second letter will also let parents know “the reasons we chose them to be involved in the pilot study.”
Assistant Superintendent Casey Shorter and Andrea Selvaggi, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction have been responsible in readying the district for the PARCC pilot test, along with Information Technology Services Manager Austin Thomsen.
The new state test “PARCC will replace NJ ASK starting next year 2014-15 school year and will be directly aligned to Common Core,” according to Selvaggi. “The NJ ASK does not assess every standard deeply enough to generate very specific data for you, but the PARCC will.”
Some pilot testing will be done in the spring from March 24 – April 11 and some will be end-of-year testing from May 5 – June 6. Due to the timing of the PARCC Pilot assessments, the Lazar parent conference dates have been switched from mid-March to March 26 – 28.
“The original dates coincides with some of that assessment period,” said Fried.
Students will not be graded on these tests.
“Individuals that create the test need to know if its valid and reliable and they won’t know that until they pilot the test,” said Fried. “The testing has no significance directly to their children. We do not receive any grades or scores back for the tests. We receive no information on how the children perform. It’s to give our district experience a year ahead of time. So that Austin and our technicians are working and getting us ready for one year from now. It’s for our teachers to get some experience with how the test is administered.”
A new issue that has surfaced with PARCC is the fact that it’s 100 percent electronic. With the NJ ASK, the entire school could be tested at the same time, but with PARCC, kids will be tested in batches.
In a previous school board meeting, Fried said they have two options for PARCC testing:
- Use computers in their labs and spend less in buying new devices
- Not using computers in the schools’ labs and buying new devices.