Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is preparing to administer a new form of testing beginning in March for students in grades 3 through 11. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, also known as PARCC, assessments in reading and mathematics will be administered in two different windows this school year – March 2-27 and April 20-May 15.
Staring with this school year, PARCC assessments replace the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) exams in reading and math, and the High School Assessments (HSA) in English II and Algebra I. Students in grades 5 through 8 will still take the MSA exam in science in April, and high school students will still complete the HSA exams in Biology and Local, State and National (LSN) Government.
The first part of PARCC testing is the performance-based assessment (PBA), which will be given in March. For the English/language arts portion, students will read several passages and be required to write responses, including evidence that can be used to make a persuasive argument. The mathematics PBA requires students to solve problems, express math reasoning and apply concepts to solve real-world problems. The second part of PARCC testing is the end-of-year assessment (EOY), which will be administered in April and May. Students will be required to demonstrate content specific skills and knowledge by answering a series of multiple-choice questions. PARCC assessments also include accommodations for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
The change in testing for students is a result of the implementation of the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards, which CCPS began last school year. The standards define the skills and knowledge students need to be successful in the workplace and postsecondary education, ensuring that students receive a high quality education. The goal of Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards is to assure that children leave school with the real-world skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and/or careers. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education developed Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards from the Common Core State Standards.
CCPS has a resource page on their website, http://www.ccboe.com/academics/parcc/index.php, which features information about the PARCC assessments, as well as materials provided by MSDE.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.