PARCC Receives Nod from Teach Plus


For nearly 20 years, the MCAS assessment has been used to test Massachusetts high school students’ proficiency in common core classes, ultimately determining whether or not students are eligible for their high school diploma.  However, a new standardized test has piqued the interest of Massachusetts principals, and it may prove a more promising assessment of students’ abilities than the MCAS.

The Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) is committed to developing standardized assessments that measure whether or not students are on track for success beyond high school.Unlike the MCAS, which was designed to test for minimal proficiency in reading, writing, science, and math, the PARCC assessment measures whether or not students are on track to succeed in college and their careers.

What does this mean exactly?  The PARCC exam tests students for higher level abilities – including critical thinking, problem solving, and supporting an argument.

Although the MCAS is still used in Massachusetts, the PARCC assessment seems to have already convinced Massachusetts principals of its effectiveness: according to a survey of Massachusetts principals, more than 90 percent of principals felt that PARCC will have a positive impact on critical thinking, reading and writing.

SheGives Boston partner, Teach Plus, has also given this test a nod: Teach Plus brought together 1,000 teachers to intensively study the PARCC exam.  The results? Pretty positive! A few of Teach Plus’s key findings are listed below:

  • Teachers believe that PARCC is a better assessment than their prior standardized tests
  • Teachers find clear alignment between PARCC and what they are teaching
  • The majority of teachers found PARCC to measure skills necessary for college and career readiness
  • Teachers were mixed on whether or not the test was too challenging

Find out more about Teach Plus here!

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