Assessment Options

PARCC Suite of Assessments

State Education leaders that make up the Governing Board of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are giving new options for all states to access high quality assessments. The current, full PARCC test and other PARCC instructional supports will continue to be available to states and this process will not disrupt the administration of the PARCC test  in the 2017-2018 school year.

The PARCC assessment system is made up of two categories of tools:

Annual tests: English language arts/literacy, and mathematics tests in grades 3-8 and high school.

Instructional Tools: Tools teachers may use at their discretion anytime during the school year. These include formative tasks for grades K-2, 3-8, and high school; diagnostic tools; speaking and listening tools; and performance-based modules.

New Participation Offerings: In November 2015, the Governing Board announced a new offering of a tiered system for states to access high-quality summative content, followed by a Request for Information process in early 2016 to gather input from stakeholders on the new model. The Request for Proposals was released in December 2016 and led by the state of Rhode Island, on behalf of the Governing Board.

Collectively, the Partnership states announced that states will be given new options for accessing high quality testing items. Specifically, the new tiered system of product offerings includes:

  • The current, complete PARCC offering delivered on the Pearson technology platform; this option includes states’ ability to customize the test and add state developed items;
  • The PARCC test blueprint and content, but with the ability for states – separately or jointly — to select their own vendor to administer the test while maintaining rigorous comparability;
  • Test items available in blocks providing states the ability to design their own tests utilizing sets of PARCC test questions in order to maintain the ability to make state comparisons across those item blocks. In this option, states may choose their own vendor but would need to adhere to agreed-to guidelines on test administration.
  • A freestanding item bank, providing states (or vendors bidding for state contracts) with the ability to purchase individual or sets of test items.

In April 2017, the state education leaders who make up the Governing Board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) embarked on the implementation of this new approach with the selection of New Meridian Corporation, a nonprofit education organization, as the Management Vendor. New Meridian will implement and manage a new approach for the assessment system, including the tiered licensing structure, that allows all states to continue to create high-quality assessments and content collaboratively, while offering greater flexibility and increased access to that content for any state seeking to strengthen its summative assessment.