PARCC, state testing, and Accountability Levels: Superintendent’s Dec. 11 E-Blast

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From the Desk of Milton Public Schools Superintendent Mary Gormley:

What should families know about PARCC, state testing, and Accountability Levels?

There has been much media coverage about the state’s participation in PARCC, and understandably, some confusion about what the state is planning to do in terms of the statewide assessment. Below are some key points about state testing and how it impacts Milton Public Schools:

  • PARCC is a next-generation assessment designed to measure progress toward meeting grade-level expectations and mastering important skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical writing. In 2010, Massachusetts adopted new learning standards (Common Core), and since then, schools across the state, including Milton, have been introducing them into classrooms. The standards are more rigorous than previous standards and are tied to the skills and knowledge that colleges and employers expect of our high school graduates. PARCC assessments are tied to those new standards.
  • PARCC is a different measuring stick with a different scale than the MCAS. Results from PARCC are different from prior years’ MCAS results, so a direct comparison is not warranted.       Instead of falling in four proficiency levels as on the MCAS – Warning/Failing, Needs Improvement, Proficient, and Advanced, PARCC results fall into five levels – Level 1 (did not yet meet expectations), Level 2 (partially met expectations), Level 3 (approached expectations), Level 4 (met expectations), and Level 5 (exceeded expectations). A “Proficient” score on the MCAS, for example, does not translate directly to a “Level 4” on the PARCC.

Read more in the full e-blast:

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