In May 2016, EdWeek Features PARCC Study Originally Published 7 Months Ago
On May 17, 2016, Ed Week’s Catherine Gewertz published an article entitled, “PARCC College-Ready Score Reflects Rigor of College Work, Study Finds.”
The featured study is one conducted by Mathematica and published in October 2015. The study, misnamed “Predictive Validity of MCAS and PARCC: Comparing 10th Grade MCAS Tests to PARCC Integrated Math II, Algebra II, and 10th Grade English Language Arts Test,” intended to compare PARCC and Massachusett’s MCAS using current college students as its sample. (The participants took parts of PARCC while in college. Thus, the study is not predictive.)
It seems that the big to-do on May 17, 2016, is that “peer reviewed” Education Next finally published the Mathematica study.
On May 17, 2016, PARCC CEO Laura Slover tweeted about the 7-month-old Mathematica study that just made it into Ed Next as follows:
I wrote a brief post about the Mathematica study days following its original publication, in October 2015. The study has a number of limitations, one of the most notable being that 66 percent of study participants who did not score proficient on PARCC still did not need to take a remedial course in college.
That does not support Slover’s assertion that PARCC “accurately defines what it means to be ‘college ready.'”
What it does support is the notion that PARCC needlessly flunks a lot of kids.
Note also that “a strong signal” and “accurately defines what it means to be ‘college ready'” is a Slover logic leap.
Moreover, even though there exists no study concerning the predictive validity of PARCC, some states have bypassed this astounding fact to make passing PARCC a graduation requirement. (There is a lawsuit over PARCC as a graduation requirement in New Jersey, where SAT and ACT are currently acceptable options. Maryland also uses PARCC as a graduation requirement “for students enrolled in PARCC-aligned courses.” Rhode Island is facing using PARCC as a 2017 graduation requirement, though the commissioner of education does not seem to want to do so.)
According to Getwertz’s Ed Week article,
PARCC spokeswoman Heather Reams said the consortium plans to conduct a longitudinal study over the next two years that will examine “associations between students’ performance on PARCC and outcomes in entry-level college courses.”
High-stakes sale first, then validation research in the years to follow.
A PARCC bulls eye.
Coming June 24, 2016, from TC Press: