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CMAS - English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments (PARCC)


Stephanie Boyd
PARCC Coordinator
Assessment Unit

Relevant Websites 

In compliance with legislation, Colorado joined the PARCC consortia as a governing member in August 2012. PARCC is a multi-state assessment consortium that is developing shared English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. About 12 states participate in the consortium. As a governing member, Colorado is committed to relying on the PARCC assessment system. PARCC has ELA assessments in grades 3-11 and mathematics assessments in grades 3-8 with three high school assessments. PARCC has developed college- and career-ready determinations that will be based on the assessments given in 11th grade.

Administration Trainings

2015 Spring training information is posted here, and a recorded version Spring 2015 Training here. 

PARCC Post Test Processes

Guidance on processes to be completed after the PBA and EOYadministrations are below.  DACs must submit the Post Test Ceritification form after the PBA and after the EOY administrations.  

Mathematics Assessment Options for 2014-2015

Mathematics Assessment Options for 2014-2015, a chart of the possible PARCC mathematics assessments students may take based on their current grade in school year 2014-2015 is now available. 

If your district is interested in participating in the additional high school mathematics assessment flexibility pilot, please email Stephanie Boyd (  

The webinar on math options for 2014-2015 is here.  The PowerPoint for this training is here

Information about Estimated Testing Times

PARCC estimates that students will spend the approximate lengths of time below to complete all the sessions, or timed components, of the PARCC performance-based and end-of-year assessments in ELA and math:

  • 9.75 hours annually in 3rd grade
  • 10 hours in grades 4–5
  • A little less than 11 hours in middle school
  • Close to 11 hours in high school

These times refer to on-task time, or the time it will take most students to complete the PARCC summative tests in both content areas. While it is anticipated that most students will complete these tests within these estimated times, schools will be asked to schedule additional time to ensure that students who work at slower rates can complete the assessments. Schools also will continue to make special accommodations for children with disabilities who have specific requirements or arrangements established.

Specific unit times and scheduling considerations can be found here

Information about scheduling grades together can be found here.  

Unique Accommodations Request

If a student with a disability or an English learner requires an accommodation that is not listed in the PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual, and which does not change the construct being measured by the test, the District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) may request approval for use of an accommodation using the Unique Accommodations Request form. If approved, the accommodation must be listed in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan for a student with a disability; and if appropriate for an English learner, in their English Learner (EL) plan.  Unique Accommodations must be requested and approved for each testing year.

Any accommodation that will initiate a reporting notation on the confidential student report must also be requested using this form.  Those accommodations include:

  • Oral/Sign Presentation (including Text-to-Speech) of passages and items on the ELA/L assessment,
  • Scribe (including Speech-to-Text) on the constructed response items of the ELA/L assessment, or
  • Calculation Device (including calculators, math manipulatives, etc.) on the non-calculator sections of the Mathematics assessment.

The Unique Accommodation form must be completed and submitted to the Assessment Unit of the Colorado Department of Education by the DAC no later than December 15, 2014, to ensure a timely state response. A copy of this form must be kept in the student’s file and, if appropriate, retained at the district office.

Sample Items and Tasks

PARCC has sample assessment items and tasks available online to provide educators, parents, and students with an initial look at the types of items that will appear on next-generation assessments. These prototypes may be a useful resource for students, parents and educators as they transition to the Colorado Academic Standards and prepare for next-generation assessments. They are not intended to be used as practice tests and do not provide a comprehensive picture of how the completed assessments will look. PARCC will continue to release additional prototypes and rubrics to provide a more complete picture of the PARCC assessment design in each content area and grade level.

PARCC Evidence Tables

PARCC has released a set of test specification documents, including assessment blueprints and evidence statement tables, to help educators and the general public better understand the design of the PARCC assessments.  

PARCC Performance Level Descriptors (PLD)

PARCC has released the grade and subject level PLDs. These provide information to educators for use in developing curricular and instructional materials. 

PARCC Technology Guidelines

PARCC has issued guidance designed to inform schools and districts as they make annual instructional technology purchases. The guidelines include hardware and operating system specifications covering the vast majority of commercially available computers and tablets.

PARCC Data Privacy & Security Policy

Information about the Data Privacy & Security Policy that all PARCC states agreed to can be found here. This policy includes information about basic privacy protections, security monitoring, when and who can access personally identifiable information (PII), breach remediation and responsibilities of all parties.  

The Department has established a website with a variety of information related to data privacy and security:

PARCC Quick Links

Here are links for commonly requested information: 

Quick Links


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