Cumberland Times-News


March 26, 2014

Teachers to begin field-testing the new test

During the past three school years, educators have been making the transition to the full implementation of  Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards, developed from the Common Core, set to take place in 2014-2015.

This spring, randomly selected classes in schools throughout Maryland will be field testing the new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments as the next step in this process.

The PARCC assessments represent the next generation of standardized testing which will be used to show that our students are progressing towards college and career readiness.

These tests, which are more rigorous than the MSA and HSA tests they will be replacing, require students to demonstrate their learning beyond the recall of facts and simple procedures.

The PARCC assessments will require students to show how they will apply their skills to solve a variety of real-world problems requiring the types of critical thinking, disciplinary literacy, computer literacy, and communication skills that higher education and the workforce demand.

The field testing of the PARCC assessments is an essential component of establishing the validity and reliability of these tests. Data collected from the field tests will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the test to measure what it is designed to measure.

The students who are taking the field test will effectively be “testing the test” so that the test developers can identify and correct flaws in the assessment before it counts for all students in the future.

In addition to the way that student learning is assessed, the method by which the PARCC assessment is given also reflects the needs of a technology-driven society.

Unlike the MSA and HSA, the PARCC assessments are designed to incorporate interactive technology. Students will use a variety of computer skills such as word processors, drag and drop, and drop down menus to answer questions as they work through the test.

While there still exists some uncertainty about what the PARCC assessments will look like and how our students will perform on them, we are ready to see the tests that we have been hearing about for three years.

Local test coordinators and teachers have received training on administering the tests. Students in the classes selected to take the field tests have been practicing with prototype questions for some time now.

The teachers administering the field tests will be among the first in the state to see a full PARCC assessment and the insight they gain will be invaluable to other teachers who will be giving the assessments in future years.

Information gathered from these field tests will enable local boards of education to further refine the curriculum to insure that future students are prepared to be successful on this assessment. It took some time for students, parents, and teachers to become comfortable with the format of the MSA and HSA tests.

It will take some time to adjust to the demands of the PARCC assessments as well. Teachers recognize that for our students to be college and career ready at graduation, we must change the way we teach and assess students.

Meeting  Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards, as assessed by PARCC, will put our students well on their way toward meeting that goal.

Steve Thompson, mathematics teacher

Fort Hill High School


Text Only
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get on with it

    Now that Maryland State’s Attorney General Doug Gansler has been asked to help with the investigation of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department it is our hope that the probe regains traction.

    July 12, 2014