The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, last week released its final content frameworks for the common standards.
The frameworks are an attempt to capture the big ideas in the standards in order to provide guidance for teachers, curriculum developers, and test designers. The consortium, one of two using federal money to design assessments for the new standards that have been adopted by all but four states, released versions of the frameworks in mathematics and English/language arts for public comment in August.
In response to a key strand of feedback, PARCC said it will create content frameworks for grades K-2 to dovetail with the set that covered grades 3 and above.
The other assessment consortium, SMARTER Balanced, issued “content specifications” in August and is still working on final versions.
Responding to feedback on the math frameworks, PARCC shortened the document by nearly a third and tried to simplify “technical terminology” that reviewers said made it hard to understand. The group sought to clarify confusion about what concepts and skills were being emphasized and whether the frameworks were tacitly giving teachers permission to ignore some standards. It also offers more specifics to guide creation of math courses at the high school level.
In the literacy frameworks, PARCC attempted to clarify that it’s important for students to be able to engage in “close reading” of text and also be able to incorporate the study of multiple texts as well as texts across disciplines.
A version of this article appeared in the November 16, 2011 edition of Education Week as Assessment Group Issues Frameworks for Common Core