Study Shows PARCC Does Not Gauge Readiness Better Than MCAS

massachusetts-state-flagPARCC has been plugged as being able to gauge readiness better than Massachusetts current assessment – MCAS.  A study released on Tuesday last week, which is the first analysis of PARCC’s ability compared with MCAS, shows otherwise.

The Boston Globe reports:

A test promoted as a more effective tool than the MCAS at measuring students’ college readiness is no better at predicting performance than the longstanding assessment, according to a new study commissioned by the state.

The results of the study are sure to fuel debate as the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education votes next month on whether to dump the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System and replace it with the PARCC — or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam.

Such a change would mean a daunting adjustment for many of the state’s public schools and nearly 1 million students, as they shift to a test designed to be taken on a computer, rather than paper and pencil. The new test would eventually replace the MCAS as a graduation requirement…

….Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, said the study’s finding that both tests fared about as well at predicting performance as the SAT, commonly used as a factor in college acceptance, showed that all three are flawed.

“If the MCAS and the PARCC aren’t any better than SAT, then relying on the tests for college prediction puts Massachusetts really in a weak position,” Neill said.

FairTest, a Boston-based advocacy group, supports placing a moratorium on the use of standardized tests as a graduation requirement and developing a different and more comprehensive assessment system.