GreatSchools Launches Tool with PARCC to Help Parents Understand New Test Results

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Resource unpacks meaning of Common Core aligned scores; helps parents support kids’ learning.

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GreatSchools, a national nonprofit helping parents guide their kids to successful futures, and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) announced today their new collaboration to assist parents in supporting their kids’ learning by unpacking PARCC test scores through the new GreatKids Test Guide for Parents.

“At GreatSchools, we know parents simply want to understand what the test scores mean and how they can use that information to guide their children to academic success,” said Bill Jackson, CEO and founder of GreatSchools. “Our guide breaks down the scores in a way that is easy to understand and provides concrete tips so teachers and parents can work together to support their children.”

Twenty math and English Language Arts (ELA) teachers from states using Common Core aligned assessments were part of the development process behind the GreatKids Test Guide for parents. Through the lens of their experiences in the classroom, they provided insight into what supports parents need to make the best use of their child’s test results to improve their academic growth. These teachers included members of the PARCC Educator Leader Cadres, teacher fellows from America Achieves, and teachers affiliated with Educators for Excellence.

"The PARCC Tool is a fantastic resource for any parent interested in specific suggestions to support their student's progress towards college and career readiness at home," said Jessica Moore, elementary English Language Arts teacher and one of the twenty teacher leaders who gave feedback on the Test Guide. "The Standards are unpacked in a way that ensures the information reads like a conversation between parent and teacher, with accessible suggestions for questions, activities and resources that can be used to help children be successful at home and at school."

GreatSchools developed the Test Guide as a roadmap for parents. The Guide explains, in plain English and Spanish, what students are expected to learn in grades 3-8 and how the PARCC test assesses student learning. It explains what knowledge and skills are needed for each area of the test and which parts are especially tough for kids; and it offers easy ways to boost a child’s skills at home. The guide breaks down PARCC test scores in a way that is easy to communicate, interpret and understand so teachers and parents can collaborate to ensure children’s success.

The Guide—which has also been created for parents with kids in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) states—will support parents in states using PARCC, including: Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Rhode Island.

About GreatSchools
Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit helping millions of parents find quality schools, support great learning and guide their kids to great futures. GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos and worksheets to help parents support their children's learning. Last year, more than 59 million unique visitors accessed the GreatSchools website including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools partners with cities and states across the country. Through its GreatKids initiatives, GreatSchools promotes teacher-parent collaboration and supports parenting for education success.

About PARCC
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is a group of states working together to develop a set of mathematics and English language arts assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in the next grade and, ultimately, in college and their careers. These assessments were designed from the ground up by educators to be different than previous state tests and to evaluate not only knowledge, but also important skills like critical thinking, problem solving and effective communications. The assessments provide critical information about whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize teaching and learning to meet student needs.

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Devin Boyle
GreatSchools
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