The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, has approved a set of descriptors for the tests it’s designing for the Common Core State Standards. They lay out how many levels of achievement there will be on the test and specify what level of expertise students must show to be deemed “college ready.”
Students in the 23 PARCC states will take the tests for the first time in 2014-15. The other group of states working on similar tests, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, is working on descriptors of its own.
PARCC’s policy will be that students earn the “college readiness” determination by performing at least at level 4 on a 5-level test. At that level, students will have demonstrated the knowledge and skills seen as essential to some success in credit-bearing college courses.
The PARCC policy says that college-readiness scores on the test will be set in such a way that students who score at level 4 will have a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or better in those college courses.
A version of this article appeared in the November 15, 2012 edition of Education Week as Testing Group Defines ‘College Readiness’