PARCC Continues to Fade at the High School Level

By Catherine Gewertz — July 26, 2016 1 min read
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Remember that testing trend we told you about? The one that showed PARCC and Smarter Balanced losing ground at the high school level? It’s expanded to include two more states.

Recent news reports tell us that Rhode Island is dropping PARCC for 10th and 11th grade students, and leaving it in place for grades 3-9. Illinois has cut PARCC back to grades 3-8.

In EdWeek’s national survey of states’ 2015-16 assessments, we reported that high school territory had eroded for both the PARCC and Smarter Balanced common-core tests. Only six states and the District of Columbia used PARCC last year, including one, Colorado, that used it only in grades 3-9. Now three PARCC states have opted to stop using the test above 8th or 9th grade.

In Illinois, the state board’s decision to pare back PARCC stems in part from concerns about the testing burden as high school juniors face Advanced Placement and college-entrance exams, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The state’s move also echoes another trend we reported in our testing survey: the displacement of PARCC and Smarter Balanced by the ACT and the SAT. Illinois students won’t have to take PARCC, but they’ll take the SAT.

In Rhode Island, PARCC was given in grades 3-10, but 10th graders won’t have to take PARCC anymore. Sophomores and juniors will be able to take the PSAT or SAT or free, but won’t required to do so, according to local news reports. Ninth grade students will take PARCC’s English/language arts exam, and the PARCC math test that corresponds to whichever math course they’re taking.

Rhode Island’s decision to cut back on PARCC also reflected a concern about over-testing, and dovetailed with the state’s desire to make college-preparation and college-entrance exams more widely available, according to the Providence Journal.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the High School & Beyond blog.