Friday, February 22, 2013

PARCC and Pearson Assessments Are Coming

Goodbye, #2 pencils: the days of filling in bubbles will be coming to an end. Soon, BVSD students will take standardized assessments online.

Colorado is adopting two new kinds of assessments:
  1. PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) will test English Language Arts and Math
  2. Pearson exams will measure Science and Social Studies
Pearson exams are being piloted this spring and will be implemented during the 2013-14 school year. PARCC will follow in the 2014-15 school year.

IT is working with Curriculum, Assessment & Instruction to make the transition to online assessments as smooth as possible. If you have any question about assessments, I encourage you to contact Jonathan Dings or Brigitte Mutter in the Office of Planning and Assessment or via email at

Jonathan Wright and Angel Stobaugh are happy to address questions related to the English Language Arts section of the future PARCC assessments.

Here are some other resources you might find helpful:

What do the new assessments mean for technology at BVSD?

I know that many teachers and principals have concerns about whether we will be ready for online assessments from a technology perspective. I want you to know that IT is proactively working towards making sure that we are ready for this brave new world.

Here is what IT, in partnership with CAI, has done so far:
  • We have submitted the Information Technology Readiness Tool data to the CDE. 
  • As part of gathering these data, we have inventoried every computer lab in the district. 
  • We have attended a Site Readiness Technical Training in person and online. 
  • We have made sure that all BVSD desktop computers currently meet the minimum computer hardware specifications designated by the CDE. 
Many of you are also concerned that there is not enough technology in your buildings to administer these tests. We are working to make more refurbished computers available to schools, provided that school principals are willing to do the following:
  • Purchase flat screen monitors.
  • Ensure there are enough network drops.
  • Provide an adequate number of switches to support the drops.
CDE is still working out many details of the transition to online assessments, which may be causing you some concern. This transition is important; I want you to know that we'll continue to put resources into its successful implementation at BVSD.

Please chime in with your thoughts by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.