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Testing Consortium Previews Test With Sample Items

Teachers all over the country are wondering what new tests for the common standards will look like when they make their debut in 2015. One of the two consortia working on those assessments has come closer to providing an answer by releasing sample items for its test.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, announced the release yesterday of the new sample questions in math and English/language arts.

In contrast to the item prototypes it released last summer, which were intended as guides for item development, these sample items "represent the current state of PARCC item development and provide users a snapshot of what the 2014-2015 assessments will look like," according to PARCC. As the 2013-14 school year begins, the test items are intended to help educators identify critical content in the Common Core State Standards and how it might look on the test.

This round of items will be followed by another in October, to round out the representation of items at all grade levels in both subjects. The items are being released for now in paper form, but will be re-released in November on the technology platform that students will use to take the field tests in the spring of 2014.

PARCC has set up a special page on its website for the sample math items, and another for the sample literacy items. Each is accompanied by background material and a Power Point presentation. The literacy items also have accompanying rubrics to guide scoring of constructed-response questions.

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