Press Release: Board Of Public Works Approves Maryland's New Role In College And Career Ready Assessments

MSDE To Become Fiscal Agent For Consortium Developing Rigorous New Examination Program

For Immediate Release                                   Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (December 18, 2013)

The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved the state’s new role as fiscal agent for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which is developing more rigorous state assessments aligned to the new internationally bench-marked, college- and career-ready standards being implemented statewide.

In its new position, Maryland will manage the finances of the state-led consortium starting on January 1, 2014. Florida previously held that role within PARCC, which is made up of 18 states plus the District of Columbia. Florida and Maryland have been working closely together to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

“Maryland is committed to the development and implementation of better assessments that provide educators with meaningful, timely data on student progress and give parents more useful information on how children are progressing toward college and careers," State Superintendent Lillian Lowery said. "As part of the PARCC consortium, we are working with other states to move beyond fill-in-the-blank bubble tests to give students opportunities to think critically, solve complex problems and demonstrate their thinking. We need assessments to provide true indicators of progress and identify individual skills. Both are currently missing from state test results.

“As a state and a nation, we must stop lying to students at high school graduation,” Lowery said. “If they hold a Maryland diploma, they should be ready to succeed in college, career-training or the workplace without remediation.”  

All Maryland schools will field test the new PARCC exams this spring to make certain the tests are of the highest quality and they can be administered smoothly when rolled out statewide in the 2014-15 school year.  The Maryland State Department of Education is working with county superintendents to assess their overall readiness and school needs. Nationally, more than one million students will take part in the field test across 14 PARCC member states and the District of Columbia.