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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Assessments

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states developing assessments to measure student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA)/ Literacy and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school. The primary purpose of PARCC is to provide high quality assessments of students’ progression toward postsecondary readiness and success.

The PARCC tests are designed to match the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and assess whether students are meeting grade-level expectations. The new assessments replace the Maryland School Assessments (MSA) in English and mathematics in grades 3-8, and replace the High School Assessments (HSA) in Algebra I and English 10.

In contrast to other assessments, the PARCC is an extension to regular instruction, because students experience engaging, real-life texts and solve meaningful problems based on high-quality classroom work. In addition, built in accessibility features help all students do their best and expand access for students with disabilities.

2014-2015 Student Results

Individual student results for Algebra I, Algebra II and English 10 were sent home with students in November 2015. Reports for the grades 3-8 exams were sent home with progress reports in December. Students who only participated in a portion of the assessment will not receive a score report.


2014-2015 School/District Results

PARCC Design Changes

The 2014-2015 administration of the PARCC was done in two parts – the performance-based testing in early spring and the end-of-year testing in late spring. In May of 2015, the PARCC consortium voted to consolidate the testing into one window and shorten the overall testing time. These changes take effect in the spring 2016 administration.

For more information on the design changes, please visit PARCC Online.

Administration of PARCC

Students in grades 3-8 will take the PARCC tests in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. At the high school level, students will take PARCC assessments in Algebra I, Algebra II, English 10 and English 11. Juniors taking Geometry will participate in the Geometry PARCC assessment.

PARCC assessments are designed for online administration and are given in 1-1.5 hour units. Students take multiple units per content area with a total testing time of 4-5 hours for a subject. Testing Window:

  • April 21 – June 3, 2016

The test is designed to allow students to use the same computer-based tools that are used during instruction. Students with special needs will receive the same accommodations for the PARCC that they do for their regular instruction.

Student Participation Requirement

The PARCC assessments are part of the state instructional program and students are required to participate.

MSDE provides the following formal guidance on opting out of instructional and assessment programs:

State law requires that all children attend public school, a nonpublic school, or be educated at home. For students who attend public school, state regulations permit parents to have their children opt out of only a few specific aspects of the public school curriculum. See COMAR 13A.04.18.01F(5)(a) and I(2)(a) (“Family Life and Human Sexuality” and “HIV/AIDS Instruction.”).

Students who refuse to participate in state mandated testing will negatively impact federal accountability ratings for their home school and district. In addition, Algebra 1 and English 10 students who refuse to participate in PARCC will not fulfill the MSDE graduation requirements and will be required to test during future administrations.

PARCC Graduation Requirements

Students enrolled in English 10 and Algebra I for the first time this year or in a previous year must pass the course and participate in the corresponding PARCC assessments. A score for Algebra I HSA or English 10 HSA can also be used to fulfill the assessment requirements. Passing the PARCC assessments in English 10 and Algebra I will not become a graduation requirement until the 2016–2017 school year.

Summary of assessment graduation requirements:

Algebra I

Enrolled in Algebra I prior to the 2016–17 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Receive a Score for Algebra PARCC or Algebra I HSA*

Enrolled in Algebra I course for the first time during or after the 2016–2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass Algebra I PARCC

English 10

Enrolled in English 10 prior to the 2016–17 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Receive a Score for English 10 PARCC or English 10 HSA*

Enrolled in English 10 course for the first time during or after the 2016–2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass English 10 PARCC


Completed Biology course during or prior to the 2016-2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass Biology HSA or participate during the 2016-2017 school year

Completed Biology course after the 2016-2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Participation in Integrated Science Assessment (after designated courses)


Entered Grade 9 prior to the 2013–2014 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: None

Entered Grade 9 in or after the 2013–2014 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass Government HSA

* Algebra I HSA and English 10 HSA are no longer administered, as of July 20, 2015.


View more information about PARCC Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and Accessibility Features for All Students