The PARCC field testing window for the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) component opens next week on March 24th, and the End-of-Year Assessment (EOY) will follow in May. We appreciate your commitment to participate this spring.
Field tests are important to ensuring that future assessments are valid and reliable, and this year the PARCC field tests provide a unique opportunity to try out school infrastructure and systems for administering online assessments.
In the first year of implementation of a large-scale online field test in 14 states, there is a possibility that some schools will encounter technology issues as a result of problems at the consortium or the local level. I want to remind you that the PARCC field tests have no stakes for schools, teachers, or students. Please convey this message to your staff, students, and parents in any future PARCC-related communications.
Your staff may need to troubleshoot technology issues before or during testing. In the case where the issues are not solved expediently, schools should return students to instruction. If the school is unable to resolve the technology issues, and is therefore unable to complete the PBA or EOY field test, there are no negative ramifications for your school, your teachers, or your students. Also there is no expectation that your school reschedule field test sessions if you are unable to complete the field test on the dates you have scheduled them.
In addition, PARCC is using the field test as an opportunity to research the administration of online assessments from the perspective of both test administrators and students. After the field test, both test administrators and students are asked to complete surveys about their experience with the PARCC field test. Language is scripted in the PARCC Test Administrator Manual that instructs students to take the survey. The information from the survey will be useful to PARCC and New York in preparing for future administration of online assessments, but the surveys are optional. Students do not need to complete the survey in order to submit their field test. Please follow your local policy for administering student surveys.
I hope that your administration of the PARCC field test runs smoothly, but if you need technical assistance during the field test, please use your local technical supports or contact the PARCC Support Center at 888-493-9888 (Open Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST) or email@example.com.
Steven E. Katz
Office of State Assessment