University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Peek-a-Boo! PARCC Releases “Prototype” Test Items for new Common Core Assessments

In The View from the OEP on August 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

As part of the transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Arkansas has joined up with PARCC – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers – a consortium of 23 states working together to create assessments aligned to the CCSSs. The OEP discussed the state’s signing on with PARCC in a 2011 policy brief. One year later, PARCC has released an initial set of test items and task prototypes which illustrate how the critical content and skills found in the CCSS may be measured by the PARCC assessments set to be administered for the first time in 2014-2015. These prototype items are early samples or models that may be helpful in building the actual assessment items. They also give educators and the public an early look at what next generation assessment items may look like.

The PARCC prototype items can be found on the PARCC website…but that’s not all. Educators will also find that every item and task prototype is annotated with information about the standard being measured, the type of assessment on which it would appear, and a link to the revised PARCC Model Content Frameworks.

In addition to the release of item and task prototypes, PARCC is also releasing updated versions of the Model Content Frameworks for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics after taking public suggestions and comments for clarity and/or specificity from educators and other stakeholders in June 2012. A searchable online version of the Model Content Frameworks has also been developed in order to make the Model Content Frameworks more accessible and user friendly. This search tool includes a search browser, an online glossary, and direct references back to the standards.To view the item and task prototypes and the Model Content Frameworks, visit

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