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The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) was created from the need to have more robust and rigorous guidelines, which could be standardized from state to state. These guidelines create a learning environment where students will be able to graduate high school with all skills necessary to be active and successful members of society, whether they take a role in the workforce or some post-secondary education.
Once the CCSS was fully developed and implemented, it became necessary to devise a way to ensure they were assessed appropriately. To this end, many states adopting the CCSS have joined one of two testing consortia, either PARCC or Smarter Balanced.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness and College and Careers (PARCC) is one of the two state consortiums responsible for developing assessments aligned to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. A combination of educational leaders from PARCC Governing and Participating states, along with test developers, have worked together to create a new computer-based English Language Arts and Math Assessments.
PARCC has spent the better part of two years developing their new assessments, and in many ways, they will be unlike anything many students have ever seen. The tests will be conducted online, requiring students complete tasks to assess a deeper understanding of the CCSS. Additionally, Instead of one final test at the end of the year, PARCC understands that the best way to measure student success is to assess them multiple times a year. So, students in PARCC states will take a mid-year assessment called Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and an End of Year Assessment (EOY).