PARCC

The PARCC Exam

This year, students at Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School will begin taking the PARCC exam in place of the MCAS. PARCC stands for the “Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.” The PARCC is a standardized assessment that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Currently, twelve states plus the District of Columbia are participating in the PARCC assessment.

The PARCC is designed to measure students’ knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities in both English Language Arts and Math. The PARCC has two components.

 The first component is a performance-based assessment, conducted in March and April.  At Muddy Brook, the schedule for this exam consists of:

  • 3rd Grade Reading Comprehension, two 75-minute sessions and one 60-minute session.
  • 3rd Grade Math, two 75-minute sessions.
  • 4th Grade English Language Arts, one 75-minute session, one 90-minute session, and one 60-minute session.
  • 4th Grade Math, one 80-minute session and one 70-minute session.

The second component is an end-of-year assessment, conducted in May. At Muddy Brook, the schedule for this exam consists of:

  • 3rd Grade Reading Comprehension, one 75-minute session.
  • 3rd Grade Math, two 75-minute sessions.
  • 4th Grade English Language Arts, one 75-minute session.
  • 4th Grade Math, two 75-minute sessions.

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District is a pilot site for the PARCC in Massachusetts. As part of the pilot, our District will be “held harmless” from our results on the PARCC. This means our District accountability level cannot go down this year, regardless of how our students do on the test.

We encourage all parents and community members to learn more about the tests. Sample items and complete practice tests are available online at the PARCC website. Select the drop-down menu labeled “Test Preparation”.

Assessment at Berkshire Hills

When students are engaged in meaningful work connected to their lives, they exceed our expectations.  Assessments are most valuable when they are not simply measures of what we have done, but of what more we have to do. Quality assessments give us insights that help us better understand learning and teaching. We use those insights to shift and improve our approaches. We never depend on just one form assessment to understand a student. Instead, we use multiple data points, ranging from tests to one-on-one conversations, to get a complete picture of each student’s holistic needs.