Students to start second round of PARCC testing
— County students will start taking the state-mandated PARCC
tests for the second time this April — albeit in a more streamlined format.
Maryland began administrating the Partnership for the Assessment of Readi- ness for College and Career (PARCC) test to students in grades three through eight and high school for the first time last year. But after school districts raised con- cerns about the length of last year’s tests, this year’s tests were significantly shortened.
The two English language arts and mathematics testing windows were combined into one 30-day window, the number of test sections a student takes was reduced and overall testing time was cut by about 90 minutes for each grade.
Cecil County’s PARCC 30-day testing window runs from Monday to May 24, though schools and students may not need all of those days.
The PARCC tests don’t yet count as a graduation requirement as the state board has yet to determine proficiency scores. The test has five performance levels and while a score of a four or five indicates college and career readiness, this differs from proficiency.
During the first year of PARCC testing less than half of Maryland students scored a four or five on the math and English language arts tests. Cecil County students didn’t fare much better, though county high schoolers did better than their elementary and middle school counterparts.
On the elementary level, 24.7 percent of Cecil County students scored a four or five in math while 29.3 percent did so in language arts. Statewide, 29 percent of students met standards in math and 38.9 percent met standards in language arts.
On the high school level, 34 percent of students met standards for algebra I, 19 percent met standards for algebra II and 37.4 percent met standards for the 10th grade English test. At the state level, the average percent of students who met standards was 31.2, 20.2 and 39.7, respectively.