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Common-Core Testing Group Shortens English/Language Arts Assessment

The PARCC testing consortium has decided to cut out some of the questions on the English/language arts portion of its common-core-aligned test, reducing the length of the exam.

The multistate consortium announced late Friday that it will drop two sets of reading passages and 13 test questions from the test for students in grades 3-5. It also will drop one set of reading passages and four questions from the test for students in grades 6-11.

In the announcement, PARCC officials said the changes were made after a review that took place once field-testing concluded this past spring. The notice referred to the changes as "modest," and said that the range of standards being tested was unchanged. The difference is that fewer items will assess certain standards.

Officials with PARCC (short for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) could not provide an estimate of how much shorter the test will be, since the consortium is still reviewing data from the field testing that shows how long students spent on different types of test items.

The PARCC announcement spells out the details of the changes in test design. Here's how it breaks down:


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