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.
Students who participate in the PARCC assessments for grades 3–8, English 10, Algebra I, and Algebra II receive paper home reports during the second week of the following school year. The reports will be distributed to your child at school to hand carry home.
Digital Access to Test Results
Parents and guardians don’t have to wait for the paper home reports. Digital access to PARCC and other standardized test scores is available now online. To view a running record of your child’s raw standardized assessment scores:
- Go to http://www.hcpss.org/connect/
- Login and click on “Standardized Test Scores” on the left menu
PARCC results are typically loaded in the first week of August.
Overall PARCC results can be viewed at http://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/
Note: Results are not posted until the start of the next school year.
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:
- Mid April-Early June
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 before 2016-2017 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. Students enrolled in English 10 or Algebra I during or after the 2016-2017 school year are required to pass the assessment.
Summary of assessment graduation requirements:
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
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.
- GreatKids State Test Guide for Parents
- Take the Practice Tests
- Sample Test Questions
- PARCC information and resources from the Maryland State Department of Education