« Universities in Six States Agree to Smarter Balanced Definition of 'College Ready' | Main | Holocaust Remembrance in the Classroom »

PARCC Working to Shorten Its Tests

PARCC officials say they are working on ways to shorten their assessment and administer it during one window, instead of the two periods currently required.

That news came in testimony Wednesday night before a committee of the Ohio legislature, which is considering whether to keep PARCC—the exam the state gave for the first time this year—or dump it. The tests can take nine to 11 hours, though many students finish earlier.

K-12_Dealmaking.gif

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, PARCC's chief of assessment, Jeff Nellhaus, told the House's test review committee that the consortium is working with Pearson, which was a key player in designing the test, to combine the performance tasks with the end-of-year portion of the test.

This year, students in the District of Columbia and 10 states are taking the longer, more complex performance tasks between Feb. 6 and May 8. They are taking the end-of-year portion, which consists of multiple choice and short-answer items, between April 13 and June 5.

States choose four-week windows within those periods, and districts have some flexibility in scheduling the test over those weeks. As we reported a few months ago, Ohio chose one of the earliest testing windows, beginning Feb. 16, which caused some concern and stress in its teacher corps.

Nellhaus told the committee that PARCC officials recognize that parents and schools are unhappy about the length of the test. He said the consortium wants to "streamline" the tests into one window and make them "somewhat shorter," according to the Plain Dealer. Nellhaus didn't say how long the streamlined version might be. 

"We're seriously looking at this," Nellhaus is quoted as saying. "This isn't a bunch of happy talk. We have heard what you all are saying."

He said that PARCC officials are meeting with Ohio and other states, and aim to submit a recommendation for revised design to the PARCC governing board within a couple of weeks.

How much money will be available to pay for a revised PARCC or any kind of test has come into question, however.

Republican leaders in the Ohio House have written language into the budget that would eliminate the money to pay for PARCC or a replacement test, according to the Columbus Dispatch. That move drew an immediate warning from the U.S. Department of Education that Ohio could lose $750 million in federal funding if it fails to test students as required by federal law.


Get Curriculum Matters delivered to your inbox as soon as new posts are published. Sign up hereAlso, for news and analysis of issues at the core of classroom learning.

 

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • Linda: My problem with homework is they give too much and read more
  • Seo Article Writer: Hello I just see your site when I am searching read more
  • Car Insurance Guy: Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. read more
  • cyptoreopully: Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im read more
  • Connie Wms: Good grief. We have gone round and round forever with read more