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America Achieves

A New Tool to Help You Understand Your Child's PARCC Scores

As millions of parents are getting their children’s score reports for the new Common Core-aligned tests, we are happy to introduce the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) version of the GreatKids Test Guide for Parents. This tool, the result of a collaboration with PARCC, provides parents with an easy-to-use guide that clearly explains the new test and offers powerful tips parents can use to help their children master the new standards through everyday actions. The new PARCC tests, and Common Core standards which underlie them, can cause anxiety for many parents who do not yet understand what has changed and how it will impact their child. At GreatSchools, we believe that this moment of anxiety also represents an opportunity. Parents don’t need to become experts in curriculum themselves but this tool empowers them to understand what their children should be learning in the classroom and how to help their children improve and succeed. 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. 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. At GreatSchools, we know parents simply want to understand what the test scores mean and how they can use that information, and we hope this tool will help them guide their children to academic success.  
Bill Jackson spent five years managing engineering development and marketing for two computer networking firms, including Whistle Communications, which was later sold to IBM before founding GreatSchools. A graduate of the Coro Foundation Public Affairs Fellowship program, he also spent three years teaching, two in China and one in the United States. ...

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