Priority Issue: PARCC Testing Delay


MABE Supports the State Board's Approval of a Two-Year Delay in Using the New PARCC Tests as High Stakes Graduation Requirements

On October 1, 2014 MABE adopted a resolution calling for a delay, and on October 28 the State Board of Education agreed to revise regulations to do so.

On October 28, 2014, the Maryland State Board of Education approved a plan proposed by State Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery to ensure the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams in English 10 and Algebra I will not become a graduation requirement until the 2016-17 school year. (State Board's Approved HSA/PARCC Transition Plan).  
MABE strongly supports the State Board's action. 
Maryland's local school boards strongly believe in this delay for our kids and we are pleased the State Board heard our concerns", said MABE President Verjeana Jacobs. "This is the right decision for Maryland students.  Importantly, there are two years to get this right and these two years must be time well spent to ensure we are preparing our students well for college and careers." 
MABE has emphasized that this framework parallels that of teachers and principals who successfully opposed being evaluated based on never-before-seen student tests. The General Assembly agreed in 2014 to grant a two-year hiatus to educators, and MABE believes the same standard of care and due diligence should be afforded to students.
The State Board's action to delay using the PARCC assessments in Algebra I and English 10 as high stakes graduation requirements confirms the wisdom of the consensus MABE sought within the educational community on behalf of students confronting brand new exams. 
Significantly, MABE does not oppose administering the new PARCC HSAs, but strongly opposes linking student scores on these new tests to high school graduation. 
MABE supports the key elements of the State Board's plan, including:

  • Students taking the Algebra I and English 10 course aligned to PARCC in 2014-15 and 2015-16, and not passing the test, will not be required to pass the exam in order to graduate. These students must still pass the course as part of their graduation requirements.

  • As in the past, all students still must pass the Government and Biology High School Assessments, or successfully complete the Bridge Plan project-based assessment in those subjects, in order to graduate.

Regulations and Resources

High School Graduation Requirement Regulations Adopted (State Board Action on May 19, 2015)

New High School Graduation Requirement Regulations Approved for Publicationin in the Maryland Register (State Board Action on December 16, 2014)

MABE Comments on the Draft Report of the State PARCC/MCCRS Workgroup (Nov. 6, 2014)

MSEA Comments on the Draft Report of the State PARCC/MCCRS Workgroup (Nov. 11, 2014)

State Board Approved HSA/PARCC Transition Plan (Oct. 28, 2014)

MABE 2015 Legislative Priorities and Positions (adopted Oct. 20, 2014)

MABE Press Release (Oct. 13, 2014)

MABE Continuing Resolution on Curriculum and Assessments (adopted Oct. 1, 2014)

Montgomery County Board of Education Letter (Oct. 7, 2014)

Washington County Board of Education Letter (Oct. 22, 2014)

Frederick County Board of Education Letter (Oct. 23, 2014)