Questions and Answers About PARCC

  • Questions and Answers About PARCC


    What is PARCC?

    • The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)is a group of 13 states working together to develop a common set of computer-based K–12 assessments in English language arts/Literacy and math linked to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
    • PARCC is one of two state consortia developing assessments aligned to the CCSS through the federal Race to the Top assessment grant program.


    Why do states need new assessments?

    • These tests will provide more meaningful, actionable and timely information for educators, parents and students because they were built to mirror the Common Core instructional standards.
    • The PARCC assessments will replace state tests currently used to meet the requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


    Which states make up PARCC?

    • PARCC is made up of 13 states. Thirteen are Governing States in the consortium: Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.  


    What are the benefits of the PARCC assessments?

    • In ELA/literacy, many states don’t assess writing and few assess critical-thinking skills. PARCC will do both.
    • In math, most current assessments are fill-in-the-blank “bubble tests.” PARCC will give students a chance to solve real problems. Plus, they’ll not only have to solve complex problems, but show how they solved them.


    Many current state tests measure only lower-level skills. The new assessments are designed to measure whether students are actually on track for college or careers.

    • Most current tests just require students to fill in the blanks. PARCC’s computer-based assessments will be much more interactive and engaging.
    • Too often, current tests fail to adequately measure the skills and knowledge of students working significantly below or beyond their grade level. PARCC assessments will.
    • The new tests will create comparability among states and equity among the students who reside in them. What it means to be ready for success in college or careers shouldn’t vary from state to state.


    Answering your questions

    • Do I have the option for my child to opt-out of the PARCC assessment?  No. The district is obligated by state regulations to administer the PARCC exam to all students.  The district's attendance policies and regulations will continue to be followed during this time.
    • How are the schools preparing our students academically? All curricula are aligned with the Common core State Standards, and the instructional sequence has been reorganized to address most crucial PARCC content before testing begins in March. PARCC testing mirrors the kind of high quality work students are already doing in our classrooms throughout the year.
    • Are there sample PARCC assessments available? PARCC released online tutorials that demonstrate how to navigate the test. These tutorials and sample assessments are accessible at this web address:
    • What are schools doing to help students master the technological skills required by the PARCC exam? 21st Century skill sets are integral to the computer literacy curriculum taught in our schools. For more information regarding your child’s computer literacy curriculum, please contact your child’s school.
    • What can families do to help prepare students for the PARCC exam? Successful student performance on the PARCC exam requires practice. Elementary and Middle School students are encouraged to access and use Study Island at home. For information on how to log into Study Island, please contact your child’s school.
    • Is a student who does not pass the PARCC Assessment required to retake the assessment? No. A student is not required to retake an assessment or retake the course based on their PARCC scores.


    Test Administration and Schedule

    • For more information regarding the test administration and schedule, please contact your child's school.


    Technology Requirements

    • Is our District PARCC ready?  The Old Bridge Township Public School District meets and exceeds all recommendations provided by PARCC and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE).  All school districts were required to provide a detailed listing of the network infrastructure and computer devices that would be used to administer the PARCC assessment.
    • What technology equipment will my child use for the PARCC assessment?  Each student will use a desktop, laptop or iPad when taking the PARCC assessment. A headset and mouse will also be available.
    • Does our District have the appropriate Internet and Wi-Fi Connectivity? Yes. The internet circuit, firewall and network switches were upgraded to accommodate the additional network traffic.  In addition, the district has placed proctor caching machines in all schools to better manage the upload and download of information to/from the PARCC website.



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