NECAP to be replaced for math, English evaluations with new test
R.I. COMMISSIONER OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION Deborah A. Gist is ending the use of the NECAP standardized tests for mathematics and language skills next year, substituting the PARCC test instead.
PROVIDENCE – On the heels of lawmakers’ postponement of use of the NECAP standardized testing as a graduation requirement, Rhode Island’s education commissioner has told school superintendents the NECAP will not be administered in the fall in math or reading in any grade.
Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education, sent a memo to the superintendents on July 3, said Elliot Krieger, a spokesman for the R.I. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Krieger said the New England Common Assessment Program test still will be used for science assessments for grades 4, 8 and 11 in the spring.
Instead of the NECAP, the first full year of PARCC assessments will begin in the 2014-15 academic year not only in Rhode Island but in 12 other states and the District of Columbia, said Gist in her memo. PARCC assesses math and language skills but has no comparable science assessment, so the NECAP is still needed for that, Krieger said.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is a group of states collaborating on a set of computer-based K–12 assessments in math and English language arts/literacy, according to its website. The PARCC assessments emphasize problem solving, comprehension and verbal expression, Gist said.
Gist’s memo states that the new law postponing use of the NECAP until 2017 made it unnecessary to administer the NECAP in math and reading. At the same time, this past spring, a trial run of PARCC assessments, which are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, went “smoothly” in all participating states, including Rhode Island, she said.
“We anticipate successful implementation of PARCC assessments in literacy and mathematics next year, with about 75 percent of our students taking the assessments on a computer, laptop or tablet,” Gist stated in the memo.
“As the law specifies,” the memo states, “we will use PARCC assessments ‘to promote school improvement and to target remediation programs to individual students and groups of students.’ Over time, we will transition to using PARCC assessments as part of the Diploma System and as a component of educator evaluations.”
PARCC next year will debut for all students in grades 3 to 10, Krieger said. Some students in Grades 11 or 12 may take the test, depending on their math course enrollment, he said.
“Details are still being worked out,” he added.
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