Monday, July 30, 2012

PARCC UPDATE - College and Career Ready


PARCC held an update for education leaders in DC on July 30, 2012 - below are my rather disjointed but informative notes. 

The update was on progress towards the PARCC exams for Common Core State Standards as well as an update on their educator engagement strategy which includes the ever amazing Educator Leader Cadre implemented by Laying the Foundation (wooohoo)

PARCC is building the assessments along a stairway to college and career readiness and there has been a lot of press on how PARCC is going to define College and Career ready
  • College Ready Determination – English III in junior year / Math – Algebra 2


How is PARCC setting the cut score and how are they validating the determinations?

CRD –new acronym meaning College Ready Determination
  • English CRD – student would be able to enter right into a credit bearing course in College English Comp and Literature and/or succeed in other reading and writing courses such as history and social sciences
  • Mathematics CRD- has demonstrated the knowledge, skills and practices necessary to enter into and succeed in entry-level credit bearing courses in College Algebra and Introductory Statistics.

If you meet the CRD - you would be exempt from placement tests.  CRD is not intended to be used for admission decisions by higher education. 

CR determinations will be awarded to students who achieve Level 4 on designated PARCC high school assessments in ELA/Literacy and mathematics in junior year. Senior year in HS will be used to make up for any deficiencies noted (i.e. moving from level 3 to 4)

Maintaining CRD in your senior year
  • Policy may impose additional requirements – such as dual enrollment or HS courses that build on the standards used to make the CRD


Cut Score
Will be based on performance level descriptors as well as data correlating PARCC tests with ACT and SAT.  Standard setters will be given the following:

  • 75% of students who earn a Level 4 would earn a C or better in a credit bearing college course such as Eng Comp or Lit, social sciences, history or College Algebra / Intro to Stats


Performance Levels
  • To report the results of the assessments used to make CRD – in junior year
  • To report the results of HS end of grade ELA/Literacy and end of course math assessments
  • To report the results to determine moving to the next grade


Five levels being proposed (just numbers – no names) – level 4 is pitched to a level of rigor currently described by NAEP’s proficient level (solid command o the content)

Level 1 – very limited command
Level 2 – Limited command
Level 3 – partial command
Level 4 – solid command
Level 5 – superior command of the knowledge, skills and practices embodied by the CCSS assessed at grade level

PLDs for reporting results
Level 5 - Superior Command, Academically well prepared for entry level credit bearing college course, Exempt from placement tests

Level 4 – Solid command, academically prepared / exempt

Level 3 – partial command, wil likely need academic support, not exempt

Level 2- Limited command, will need acadamice support, not exempt

Level 1 – very limited command, will need extensive academic support, not exempt

On track in grades 9-10
Academically Prepared to engage in further studies in content area– grades 3-8

Public feedback is due by September 21 (going to a first look on September 12th to get an idea of where the feedback is trending)

PARCC will report out scores based on PLD with common cut scores – has not committed to use these for promotion or graduation basis. If that is desired, will have to build that in to psychometrics of the systems.  

Item Development – it’s on!
Item review – higher ed and K12 teachers 10,000 items to be reviewed starting next week! (August 6th)

What’s similar/different based on online test development – technology enhancements allow us to ask questions in a different ways and build in accommodations.

Technology – first survey completed. Determining gaps and recommending improvements that states need.  Minimum specifications guidance released.

Educator Engagement
Educator Leader Cadres – 24 members from each state – flexibility from each state on who to include with some guidance from PARCC. Created and designed to have flexibility. Attend training and become an expert and ambassador for their state. Formal and informal interactions within the state. Have to commit a certain amount of hours from each cadre member. Also will review and create materials  - assist with state PD in DC – to help educators implement
  • Cohort 1 met last week- national experts, math, ELA and state team time all a part of this first meeting. How they can support the implementation work. Some good

What's next: 
  • Prototype tasks will be released at the end of August (educators can't wait for a look at the items)
  • The face of English 101 and college algebra will change as students come in more prepared. More content less remediation – exciting time for higher ed.
  • This fall – next version of technology specs will be released
  • Model content frameworks – reviews are in and next version will be released in August.
  • PLD’s policy comment through end of September – will finalize
  • Spring – field testing items / fall – broader testing
  • Spring 2015 – first administration.

Q&A
What will you do when states try to lower the standards based on the results?
We, as a country, are finally raising the bar – what we have been doing allows students to take and pass courses/assessments and need remediation on the job and in higher education. Cut scores that are honest and reflect reality poses challenge to the states- doing it together makes it more likely to happen

Standard setting? – will be done after the first administration of PARCC so June or July of 2015 with results going out in August. Will give out raw data.  Next administration, results within days. Will not set standards on field test data.

How will results get back so fast?
There is potential for using AI for scoring essays – but will it be able to score the type of essays necessary for Common Core. Problem of current method is cost for scoring so many essays

Career ready? – not as far along on this aspect. Research studies will be conducted post-RTT PARCC. What will the PLD look like for career ready – still need to know what that will look like.

Interesting side note: What will the post RTT PARCC world look like and how is it funded.

Will have scaled score as well as PLD – to show student performance within a level – remains to be determined if it will be used for growth models.

Speaking and listening component? – a required component of the standards – initial proposal it would not be a part of the summative score. It would be delivered at the classroom level. Since then – renewed interest in pulling that into the summative score but not likely in 14/15 administration

Growth Metric? Committed to creating a common growth metric that states may or may not adopt. 

PARCC/Achieve held a very open forum that was highly informative. Incredibly knowledgeable group that will tell you if they don't know the answer yet.  This is going to be amazing.