State to adopt new standardized test

The state plans to replace the NECAP to meet updated standards created with other states

Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, Rhode Island will no longer use the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) as a measure of high school students’ academic skills.

“Rhode Island is one of 46 states transitioning to the Common Core State Standards,” said Elliot Krieger, executive assistant for communications for the Rhode Island Department of Education.

As a result Rhode Island will collaborate with other members of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of 22 of the 46 states on the Common Core standards, to design a new assessment. The states designed the new uniform standards to serve as a “benchmark against those held by countries leading the world in education,” Krieger said.

Chad Colby, director of strategic communications and outreach at Achieve, the organization contracted by the PARCC consortium to assist in developing the assessments, said his organization has begun conducting studies in six states to help develop the test. These studies will be expanded over the summer, and the assessments will be field-tested in the 2013-14 school year.

The state is “not at a point yet to know what the requirements are” or whether the state will apply graduation requirements based on high school students’ scores, as it currently does with the NECAP exams, Krieger said.

He added that he does not believe the new test will be a major transition for students in Rhode Island.

The NECAP test was administered on paper to students, while the PARCC assessments will be administered to students will be offered on laptops and tablets to be more “in line with how (students are) doing things these days,” Krieger said.

One of the goals of the PARCC assessments is to be able to determine whether high school students are ready to be placed into entry-level college courses “because right now, we know too many students leave high school needing remediation when they go into a two-year or a four-year college,” Colby said.


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