Trumann schools selected to pilot national test

Monday, October 14, 2013

With 45 states in the U.S. adopting the Common Core State Standards(CCSS), a common assessment of these standards has been created called the PARCC Assessment by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, which will be piloted at Trumann School District this year. Trumann was one of few in the state to have the privilege of administering the PARCC Assessment at all three campuses within the district.

"Some schools that were chosen only have one grade that will be administering the test this year. Trumann is fortunate, because we were chosen to have four grades go through the PARCC Assessment," said David Rutledge, Assistant Superintendent for Trumann School District.

The PARCC test is an online assessment for students in grades 3-11 designed specifically to test the CCSS and take the place of the benchmark and end-of-course tests. Rutledge added he thinks this selection was made in Trumann because of the large bandwidth and the amount of devices that are administered to students in grades k-12.

"For some schools, the field testing is going to be a real challenge because they only have a limited amount of computers for students and a limited bandwidth," he said.

The testing is set up in two parts: a Performance Based Assessment(PBA) and an End of Year Assessment (EOY). The PBA is administered after about 75% of the school year is taught. The EOY is administered after about 90% of the school year is over.

At Cedar Park Elementary, the third grade class was chosen to pilot the PBA for English. At Trumann Intermediate school, two classes were chosen. The sixth grade class will be taking the PBA for English, and the seventh grade class will be taking the EOY for math. At the high school, the tenth grade class will be taking the EOY assessment for English language.

Rutledge said no scores will be released after the tests are administered. The piloting of the test is taking place for the administering organization to gather data about timing and technology readiness.

"We've been told to expect to fail this first year, not our kids failing, but to expect the technology to fail," he said. "There will be everything from device and remote management issues to timing issues."

He added he sees this as a great advantage for Trumann students to be able to know how the test is set up before it is required by all schools. All schools will be required to administer the PARCC assessment in the 2014-2015 school year.

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