Determinations and performance-level descriptions
The PARCC draft College- and Career-Ready (CCR) Determination Policy and Policy-Level Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) were released for public feedback in summer and fall 2012. PARCC received nearly 800 responses from K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents, and community members. The revised CCR Determination Policy and Policy-Level PLDs, adopted in October 2012, was used by PARCC to guide the development of items and tasks for the PARCC assessments in both English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics and also served as a guidepost for setting the performance levels for the PARCC assessments. The CCR Determination Policy and Policy-Level PLDs were revised in summer 2015.
The PARCC CCR Determinations in ELA/Literacy and mathematics describe the academic knowledge, skills, and practices in English language arts/literacy and mathematics students must demonstrate to show they are able to enter directly into and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing courses and relevant technical courses in those content areas at two- and four-year public institutions of higher education. The CCR Determination will provide policymakers, educators, parents, and students with a clear signal about the level of academic preparation needed for success in these postsecondary courses. It will provide a strong indicator of college and career readiness that can be used to set performance goals at any level and show progress towards those goals. Finally, students who attain a CCR Determination in ELA/literacy and/or mathematics will have a tangible benefit – direct entry into relevant entry-level, credit-bearing courses without need for remediation at participating institutions of higher education.
The Policy-Level PLDs include policy claims, which describe the educational implications for students who attain a particular performance level on the PARCC assessments. These PLDs are used by PARCC to guide the development of items and tasks for the PARCC assessments and formed the basis for standard-setting. They were also used as a foundation for the development of PARCC’s grade- and subject-specific PLDs, which profile the knowledge, skills and practices students performing at a given performance level in a specific course or grade level are able to demonstrate. The grade- and subject-specific PLDs are an important tool for K-12 and postsecondary educators, parents, and students to gain a better understanding of the performance expectations for the PARCC assessments and how student mastery of the CCSS is evaluated through PARCC. The student assessment scores reported by performance level for schools and school districts for each grade and subject will also be important components of state accountability and public reporting systems, and numerous other state-specific policies that use student performance results.
The student assessment scores reported by performance level for schools and school districts for each grade and subject in fall 2015 will also be important components of state accountability and public reporting systems, and numerous other state-specific policies that use student performance results. How those results are used by states is a matter of state policy.
The PARCC Governing Board, made up of the K-12 education chiefs from each PARCC state, and the Advisory Committee on College Readiness, made up of the higher education chiefs from the PARCC states, approved the PARCC College- and Career-Ready Determination Policy in October 2012, after input from nearly 800 K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents, and community members. The policies were updated in spring 2013, and revised in summer 2015.