Next Generation Assessments: Key Aspects of the PARCC Technology Architecture That Support State Transitions to the Next Generation Assessment System

Friday, June 21, 2013: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
National Harbor 4 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Content Strands:
  1. Transitioning assessment systems
The US Department of Education’s Race to the Top Assessment Program awarded $370 million in grants to two multi-state consortia to spur the transformation of large scale educational assessment and build a pathway to college and career readiness by 2014-15. Each of the two consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) are developing their own technology platforms to support their specific assessment system designs. This session focuses on the complex challenges that were addressed by the PARCC technology architecture to support states’ transition to the next generation assessment system and addresses some of the challenges faced by states as they get ready for implementation. 

During this session, details of the following aspects of PARCC’s architecture for the next generation assessment system will be shared:

  • the technology systems governance model that supports a high quality assessment solution with the lowest cost impact to states 
  • interoperability with existing systems
  • utilization of leading-edge technologies and methodologies
  • seamless and secure sharing of student data
  • utilization of open-source and open-licensing software that supports interoperability, innovation and a lower cost of ownership

Attendees will be orientated to the PARCC IT Architecture and provided with a context for how and why key architecture recommendations were made to support state transitions to the PARCC assessment system. They will understand the thought processes and implications that led to the specific recommendations for addressing some of PARCC’s key priorities. Given the existing variations in current state assessment systems, the varying use of technology across the PARCC states, and the rapid advancement of technology, both the technical aspects of the architecture and the practicalities of transitioning to a new assessment system at the state level will be discussed.  Representatives from the Indiana and New Jersey Departments of Education will share some of the challenges facing their schools and districts from a technology perspective, and progress made in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The implications for the future of state assessment will also be addressed. 

 Session Goals

Goal 1

To orientate participants to the PARCC IT Architecture and provide a context for how and why key architecture recommendations were made.

 Goal 2

Understand the thought processes and implications that led to specific recommendations for addressing PARCC’s key priorities.

 Goal 3

To address the practicalities of state transitions to a new assessment system.