State Education Officers Vote to Deliver Expanded Choice and Flexibility to States

WASHINGTON (February 9, 2016) – The state education leaders who make up the Governing Board of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) have voted to continue the process of preparing for the long term future of state assessments and expanding access to high quality test content to all states, while maintaining quality and comparability.

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 coming weeks or in the 2016-2017 school year and beyond.

“Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed a remarkable achievement as the PARCC consortium has grown from what was essentially a start-up endeavor into a world-class product that has been administered to 5 million students across 11 states plus the District of Columbia,” said Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary of Education. “What we are doing now is preparing for the long-term future while we have the time to explore a variety of options. Our goal is to be prepared for the next phase of evolution in the testing landscape and give more states the opportunity to participate. These are the issues we will continue to explore openly and transparently in the coming weeks.”

Last November, as the consortium unveiled new options for states to access high-quality summative content starting in the 2016-17 school year, they also announced an intent to pursue a potential new structure that would allow all states to continue to create high-quality assessment content collaboratively, while offering greater flexibility and increased access to that content for any state seeking to strengthen its summative assessment. The action announced today represents a collective decision by Partnership states to continue evolving and improving access to high quality test content.

“Now that federal funding for these assessments has expired, states will be looking for new ways to collaborate and drive content to meet their individual needs in a way that’s both efficient and sustainable,” said Hanseul Kang, State Superintendent for the District of Columbia. “We are seeking a potential new model that will allow current members, including DC, to maintain a high-quality assessment that provides information to support our students toward college and career readiness, while also evolving the model in a way that ensures sustainability and increased state participation for the future.”

Specifically, the Governing Board is seeking input on ways to:

  1. Expand access to the highest quality test content to all states;
  2. Allow states more choices and the ability to customize their test;
  3. Maintain test quality and comparability across states;
  4. Allow for state collaboration on content creation;
  5. Ensure states benefit from economies of scale;
  6. Create stability and sustainability for states in the development and delivery of high quality assessments.

The Governing Board intends to host an open forum next week to provide the field with information on a potential Request for Information (RFI). The purpose of the open forum and the RFI will be to gather additional input from the field to inform a potential Request for Proposal (RFP) that will identify an organization(s) and/or vendor(s) to create the desired structure and provide the necessary products and services.

“Providing more options with greater flexibility is exactly what states need,” said Jack Smith, Interim Superintendent of Maryland. “States want access to the best testing content, but also want it to be customizable to their student populations while still being able to make comparability claims.”


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is a consortium of states working together to develop a set of mathematics and English language arts assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in the next academic work and, ultimately, in college and their careers. The Governing Board of PARCC established the governance structure for the consortia and it is responsible for the major policy and operational decisions about the design, administration and scoring of the PARCC test. The Governing Board is made up of state education leaders from the following states: Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.


State Education Officers Vote to Deliver Expanded Choice and Flexibility to States-PDF