A Walk in the PARCC…

Dear HTS Community:

About a month from now (May 5-15) HTS students in grades 3-8, for the final time, will complete the *NJASK in Math and English Language Arts (ELA). Once completed (makeups/week of May 19), we will fully transition towards preparing our students for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). These online assessments will test students in Math and ELA on two separate occasions next spring. The Performance Based Assessments (PBA) component of the PARCC will be administered between March 2-27, 2015 and the End of Year (EOY) component of the PARCC will be administered between April 27 and May 22, 2015. The PARCC promises to be the most challenging standardized assessment our children have ever completed.

Recently, Pearson (parent company of the PARCC) posted performance level descriptors (PLD) for different grades and subjects. “These PLDs further articulate the knowledge, skills, and practices that students performing at a given level should be able to demonstrate in each content area at each grade level. The grade- and subject-specific PLDs…communicate expectations to educators about what types of performance will be necessary in grades 3-8 for students to demonstrate that they are academically prepared to engage successfully in further studies in each content area”

The PARCC is being field tested in multiple districts (including grade 5 at HTS) in multiple states this spring and Pearson will use this data to refine the PARCC that will be administered next spring. The Commonwealth of Kentucky (2012) and New York State (2013) have already taken assessments similar to the PARCC and both states have seen their students’ scores drop by approximately 30%! Please be assured that we are committed to excellence at HTS and are working diligently towards avoiding this “testing cliff.” Nonetheless, it would be helpful for parents to review the PLDs for English Language Arts as well as for Math (below) just to get a general sense of the what the future will hold for the staff and students of HTS.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact us at HTS.

ELA – http://www.parcconline.org/ela-plds

Math – http://www.parcconline.org/math-plds

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

* Science will continue to be tested in grades 4 and 8.

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