Condensed PARCC testing window begins

testing kidsThe testing window for public schools in Maryland to administer the PARCC assessment to grades 3-8 begins April 4 and has been streamlined.

The new format combines the two English Language Arts and two Mathematics testing windows to one 30-day window, reduces the number of test units that students take, and cuts the testing time by about 90 minutes, according to a press release for the Maryland State Department of Education.

Maryland’s assessment window opens April 4 and continues through June 10. Each of Maryland’s local school systems have designated 30 consecutive school days between April 4 and June 10, during which they will administer the assessments to students.

The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) last year voted to consolidate the PARCC assessment’s two testing windows and cut total test time, beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The changes were made in response to feedback from parents, students, and educators during the first year of testing, as well as a careful review of test design.

The rigorous assessments, aligned to Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards, replaced the Maryland School Assessment tests in 2015. The first full year of PARCC implementation in Maryland went smoothly in 2014-15, with more than 1.3 million tests administered and completed.

About 80 percent of the 2014-15 administration was administered online, while 20 percent were completed on paper. The percentage of tests administered online is expected to exceed 90 percent this year, according to the release.

Data from the initial administration of the PARCC assessment was released last December, setting a new baseline to help gauge whether students are on track for the next grade. There are no consequences for students, educators, or schools associated with the assessments for the first two years of the tests.

Assessment data is available at MdReportCard.org.