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ERIC Number: ED568077
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Better Tests, Fewer Barriers: Advances in Accessibility through PARCC and Smarter Balanced
Batel, Samantha; Sargrad, Scott
Center for American Progress
New assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards are a major step forward in accessibility and accommodation features for students with disabilities and English language learners. Designed by two consortia of states--the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or Smarter Balanced--these tests include items and tasks designed with all students in mind. PARCC and Smarter Balanced exams also include built-in features and innovative approaches to accessibility resources that are tailored to students' needs. Although there is room for improvement, the PARCC and Smarter Balanced test designs represent tremendous progress. As state, local, and other leaders develop and administer future generations of assessments, a heightened focus on accessibility, proper implementation, improved technology, and ensuring access to accommodations will benefit all learners. This report provides a summary of the two tests, describes how they represent a movement toward better assessments as well as advances in universal design and accessibility, and discusses challenges and future opportunities. The authors conclude with three recommendations: (1) States should continue to implement PARCC and Smarter Balanced exams and assessment items to ensure that all students have access to high-quality assessments; (2) States and districts should provide more guidance and information to schools, families, and other stakeholders on test accessibility and accommodations; and (3) State and local leaders, assessment developers, and others must work together to continue to make progress on next-generation assessments for all students.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001