Frequently Asked Questions

In the coming months, Parents will be receiving their child's PARCC assessment score reports from their local school district. These new reports look different, and have a lot more information than the reports from New Jersey's previous assessments NJASK and HSPA. Here are some sample parent reports and a guide explaining the information on the reports, so parents can familiarize themselves with their child's new reports:

PARCC Assessment Score Reports

Toms River Regional Schools PARCC testing window is April 16 - May 25, 2018.

Elementary Schedule

Intermediate Schedule

High School Schedule

PARCC is designed to assess mastery of the Common Core State Standards, which have replaced the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in ELA and Math over the past several years, students have become versed in the learning shifts that have resulted. The district has made a commitment to improve its educational technology to prepare students for future careers and higher education, which has helped students become familiar with reading text and solving problems on computers.

The PARCC assessment is made up of:

ELA/Literacy

The state summative English language arts/literacy tests are available in Grades 3-8 and high school. Students read and analyze passages from real texts - fiction and non-fiction - and sometimes watch video or listen to audio. They write, using what they've learned from the passages and multi-media to support their arguments. These skills are critically important for students in college and in the workplace. In the past, students have typically been asked to write only once in each grade span - in elementary, middle, and high school. PARCC measures writing at every grade because it is key to showing readiness for the next academic work, and in high school, readiness for college and career.


Mathematics

The annual summative math tests are available in Grades 3-8 and high school. Students solve multi-step math problems that require reasoning and address real-world situations. This requires students to reason mathematically, make sense of quantities and their relationships to solve real-world problems, and show their understanding. Many previous assessments focused mostly on rote procedure only. Testing Unit Times for PARCC Assessments Because the assessments are online, students will use a set of basic computer skills, including keyboarding, drag and drop, and highlighting. These are skills that students are familiar with from technology and media instruction, and many higher level academic exams, including the GRE and Miller Analogies, have been computerized for many years (the SAT and ACT are currently piloting online versions).


Because the assessments are online, students will use a set of basic computer skills, including keyboarding, drag and drop, and highlighting. These are skills that students are familiar with from technology and media instruction, and many higher level academic exams, including the GRE and Miller Analogies, have been computerized for many years (the SAT and ACT are currently piloting online versions).

View Sample Assessments

In 2014-2015, the NJ Department of Education has replaced the Math and English/Language Arts NJASK in grades 3-8 and HSPA in high school with PARCC. The DOE has been transitioning the ASK to measure the common core standards over the past three years to provide districts time to shift practices and prepare students and educators. Though the CCSS are a state and not a federal initiative, Presidents Bush and Obama have made funding available as part of the 1964 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (through No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top grants) for states to make standards and accountability for student success more rigorous in light of 21st century demands. NJ has sought and received NCLB and RTTT funds, and made student performance a part of teacher and administrator evaluation. These new assessments will also become a part of high school graduation requirements.

More info on NJ's involvement in PARCC

Like all of the previous state assessments, performance results from PARCC will be published as part of the annual School Performance Reports which measure the relative achievement levels of NJ schools (in addition to other measures like budgets and staffing). In NJ, as part of a waiver from NCLB requirements, PARCC results will count as a portion (10% in 2015) of some teacher performance evaluations. Local districts have used state test results as one of multiple measures for general education program placements and may eventually choose to use PARCC for a similar purpose. And, the PARCC consortia will use data from all testing states to make recommendations for performance levels (ex. Proficient, Advanced Proficient), though NJ has reserved the right to establish state-specific levels based on its own students.

In order to tie scores to performance reports, for each student PARCC uses a district-generated ID number, student name, ethnicity, grade, teacher and their program/course/subject (ELA or Math). All other data about students is private and secure.

See PARCC privacy policy


The PARCC assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards grew out of the bipartisan American Diploma Project begun in 1996 and were led by the nation's governors and education commissioners, through the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), who continue to lead the initiative. Writers of the standards included over 140 teachers, curriculum coordinators, program directors, school administrators, university professors, and industry professionals, guided by academic review and public feedback between 2009 and 2012. The standards have been adopted in 46 states and the District of Columbia. They were designed to be more rigorous, focused, and developmentally appropriate than previous state standards, and will help assure that students are well educated no matter what state they happen to live in. They do not specify specific curricula, textbooks, or teaching styles, but have prompted many university teacher preparation programs to increase course scope and rigor to meet the demands of teaching under the new standards.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states that has designed assessments to measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and future careers. These computer-based grade 3-11 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy are intended to give teachers, schools, students, and parents more detailed and immediate information on student performance as well as tools to help schools customize learning to meet student needs.

PARCC Home Page

Recent Articles 

What is PARCC

 What Parents Should Know About PARCC

Test Fairness and Security

The PARCC states are committed to secure testing because fair tests are essential to better preparing the next generation for success. How do the states protect the fairness and validity of the PARCC test?

The states contract with a test vendor to search social media and websites for images or words from live tests, which are copyright infringements and jeopardize the fairness of the test for all students.

Sharing images of test items via Twitter, Instagram, or other public social media sites - or posting basic information about test items - is today's equivalent of photocopying a test and passing it out on the schoolhouse steps. Cell phones are not allowed in the testing session and test administrators are instructed to tell all students before the test that sharing any test question online is prohibited.

The PARCC states' policy follows the best practices outlined by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which recommends that there should be "procedures to monitor the internet and social websites before, during and after test administration for any evidence the items and/or answers have been shared" online. In order to maintain test security, each PARCC state contracted with its test vendor, Pearson, to search for any live PARCC test questions that are shared through public social media sites. This is standard practice for large-scale tests including ACT and SAT.

Student Data Privacy and Security

Student data privacy and security are critically important to the PARCC states and its member states, which have adopted a Data Privacy and Security Policy and implemented a rigorous set of policies and guidelines to protect student privacy and the security of data.

PARCC Pioneers Gets Jumpstart

PARCC Pioneers are colleges and universities in PARCC states that are incorporating the use of PARCC high school assessment scores into their campus placement policies. These institutions are committed to the goal of offering high school students the opportunity to use their scores from the final PARCC high school math and English language arts tests to establish their readiness for entry-level, college-credit bearing courses.

By using students' performance in high school to measure college readiness, these institutions are providing students with clear early indicators of how they need to perform in high school to avoid remediation and enter college-credit bearing courses. With this knowledge in hand, students will be empowered to take action to increase their level of college preparation prior to high school graduation and avoid costly remediation.

This week the Department of Higher Education, The University of Massachusetts, Massachusetts State Universities and Massachusetts Community Colleges, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges released statements in support of the use of the PARCC assessments as a placement tool to exempt students from remedial courses. They join Colorado Community Colleges who made similar announcements last week.

Learn more about the growing community of PARCC pioneers.