Understanding the new PARCC Home Score Report for English Language Arts and Math Tests

The 2015-16 school year was the second year of the PARCC assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics, which align to the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. The tests measure complex skills like critical thinking and problem solving, with an emphasis on supporting an argument and synthesis in writing. The PARCC assessments expect students to read, write, and reflect; analyze and show results; and utilize information multiple sources in a real-world context. PARCC scores should be used along with a student’s classroom performance, report card grades, and teacher feedback to form a clear picture of a student’s progress towards meeting academic standards.

How to Read Your Student’s Score Report

PARCC - How to read the score report, part 1 - by MSDE

  1.  Overall Performance  — Students receive an overall score in each subject that falls into one of five performance levels. Performance levels range from Level 1, which indicates that a student is not yet meeting grade-level expectations, to Level 5, which indicates that the student has exceeded the grade-level expectations.
  2.  Score Range  — This scale includes the score ranges for each performance level and shows where your student’s score falls within that range.
  3.  On Track for College and Career  — Students scoring a 4 or 5 meet or exceed grade-level expectations and are on track to be ready for college-level coursework when they graduate from high school.
  4.  Overall Score Comparisons  — This section shows how your student is performing compared to students in the same grade at the same school, across the school district, and around the state. It also details the percentage of students who achieved each different performance level.

PARCC - How to read the score report, part 2 - by MSDE

  1.  Reading/writing performance  — The English language arts report compares your student’s score in the two categories of reading and writing. It shows your student’s numerical score for a subset of questions in those categories. The score range is provided above your student’s individual score for reference. This section also includes the average scores for the school, district and state.
  2.  Score Breakdowns  — The score report provides a breakdown of your student’s performance on specific skills sets, so you can see where your student is excelling or needs improvement. Each area includes an arrow comparing your student’s performance to students who met expectations. It also includes a description of the skills that demonstrate a clear understanding of grade-level standards.

Facts about assessment and testing in Maryland

  • Federal law requires that all students in grades 3–8 and High School take an annual statewide assessment.
  • Maryland educators are highly involved in the development and improvement of the tests, from analyzing the items to reviewing them for appropriateness. Maryland is also a member of PARCC’s governing board, helping guide the direction of the tests.
  • Parents of students with disabilities should be contacted by their child’s IEP or 504 team to discuss allowable accessibility features and accommodations.
  • Scores demonstrate a student’s understanding of grade-level subject standards at the end of the school year.
  • The score reports are a tool teachers use to plan instruction and enrichment for students in the coming year that prepare students for their next steps.
  • Families can use the scores to start a conversation with their child’s teachers and school officials about the child’s academic strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Together everyone can decide how best to support the student’s needs both in school and at home.

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