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CMAS - English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments (PARCC)


Stephanie Boyd
PARCC Coordinator
Assessment Unit

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/literacy (ELA/L) and mathematics assessments. About 10 states participate in the consortium. As a governing member, Colorado is committed to relying on the PARCC assessment system for grades 3-9.

Starting in Spring 2016, PARCC will have one administration window (the performance based test and the end of year have been combined into one window).  Testing information and dates are available here.

Administration Training Information

View 2016 spring training information

2015 Spring Administration information

PARCC Post Test Processes

DACs must submit the Post Test Certification form after all materials from the administration have been returned.  (If testing all online, there are no materials to return.)

Guidance on processes for the Spring 2015 administration of the PBA and EOY are below.  DACs must submit the Post Test Certification form after the PBA and after the EOY administrations.  

Mathematics Assessment Options for 2015-2016

  • Students in grades 3-6 will take the appropriate grade level assessment. 
  • Students in grade 7 have the option of taking the 7th grade math, algebra I, or the Integrated math I assessment. 
  • Students in grade 8 have the option of taking the 8th grade math, algebra I, geometry, or the Integrated math I or II assessment.
  • Students in grade 9 will take a math assessment. They may take any of the high school math assessments (i.e., algebra I, geometry, algebra II, or Integrated math I, II, or III).   

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 assessments in ELA and math:

  • 8.25 hours annually in 3rd grade
  • 8.5 hours in grades 4–5
  • A little more than 9 hours in grades 6-9

Specific unit times and scheduling considerations can be found here

Information about scheduling grades together can be found here.  

Unique Accommodations Request

In Colorado, there is additional guidance on several accommodations for ELA/L and/or mathematics. Unique accommodation requests (UAR) must be submitted to CDE via Syncplicity by December 15.   

  • Guidance to determine if a student qualifies for reading access accommodations for the ELA/L assessment (e.g.,text-to-speech, sign, human reader/oral script) is here
  • Guidance to determine if a student qualifies for a calculator (or math tools) on the non-calculator portions of the assessment is here
  • Guidance to determine if a student qualifies for a human scribe on the ELA/L assessment is here.  


Colorado 2015-2016 Form

Released Items 

Released items from the 2015 PARCC ELA/L and math assessments can be found here. There are items from each grade and content in PDF format.  

PARCC Test Design 

PARCC has released documents to help schools and districts understand the design of the assessment.  For ELA/L these documents include high level assessment blueprints, ELA Literacy Common forms Specifications, reading evidence tables, writing evidence tables, task models, scoring rubrics and performance level descriptors.  

For mathematics, the documents include high level assessment blueprints, claim structure documents, evidence statements, informational guides by grade level to help teachers, and performance level descriptors.  

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. For more information, please see our District Technology Coordinator webpage.  

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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