New Mexico - Public Education Department

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

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In 2010, New Mexico along with 45 other states, adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Following this adoption of the CCSS, states across the country began work to develop assessments aligned to the rigorous learning outcomes of the new standards. In 2011, New Mexico joined the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium, working alongside 23 states to develop and deliver a new assessment system in 2014–2015. As a governing member of PARCC, New Mexico is able to weigh-in on the major policy decisions of PARCC.

Through the PARCC assessments, New Mexico students will be taking the same proficiency and accountability exams as students in 23 other states. The PARCC assessments will be taken on-line, and are being developed to ensure students have the knowledge and skills needed to further their education after high school and pursue their choice of careers.

The Public Education Department (PED) has already begun the transition to prepare students for the new PARCC assessments in 2014–2015. In 2011–2012, for the first time 10th grade students are taking the Standards Based Assessment (SBA), and students must receive a minimum score on the SBA to graduate from high school. By giving students familiarity with the SBA sooner—in 10th grade—administrators and teachers get more data about how students are faring on the graduation requirements, and students have more opportunity to prepare for graduation.

Beginning in 2012–2013 when the New Mexico Common Core State Standards (NMCCSS) are implemented in grades K–3, students in grade 3 will take a new SBA bridge assessment containing a subset of items that are dually aligned to the NMCCSS and the New Mexico state standards. Students in grades 4–8, 10 and 11 will continue to be assessed on the New Mexico state standards (the SBA will not change for these grades) for student growth and the A–F School Rating System. Group performance at the state, district, and perhaps school levels will be summarized in a report to provide baseline information.

To further prepare students for the PARCC assessments, PED is building a second bridge assessment to be delivered in 2013–2014 to all students in grades 3–8, 10 and 11. This bridge assessment will be enriched with more dually aligned items. In 2014–2015, districts will administer the on-line PARCC assessments for all students in grades 3–11. Meeting college and career ready standards assessed through PARCC will be required for high school graduation. The New Mexico Alternative Performance Assessment (NMAPA) will be partially aligned with the New Mexico Common Core State Standards in 2014 and fully aligned with CCSS in 2015.

New Mexico developed Extensions for Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Math for students with significant cognitive disabilities. These standards are called Common Core Extended Grade Band Expectations (CC-EGBEs), and they are under review prior to statewide release late in 2012 or early in 2013. CC-EGBEs will guide instruction and the redesign of the New Mexico Alternate Performance Assessment (NMAPA). The NMAPA will be partially aligned with CC-EGBEs in 2014 and will be fully aligned in 2015.

New Mexico is a Tier II member of the National Center and State Collaborative that is developing the next generation alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Representatives from our state will pilot a number of NCSC developed professional development seminars for transitioning instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities to CCSS. NCSC's alternate assessment is scheduled for administration in 2016.

The future PARCC assessment will assist educators by providing timely student performance data, clearly indentifying which students will need additional support and which students are on track for college and career readiness.

Sample test prototypes and additional information about PARCC can be viewed at the PARCC website (

The PED is committed to guiding schools in the implementation of the CCSS and transition to PARCC assessments. In partnership with educators across the state, the PED is developing instructional tools and resources to support this effort. In addition, the PARCC consortium has developed the following resources for educators:

PARCC Tools and Resources



CCSS and PARCC General Overview

Model Content Frameworks for Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy

  • Serves as a bridge between the CCSS and PARCC assessments
  • Supports implementation of CCSS
  • Released Summer 2011

Item and Task Prototypes

  • Exemplifies of how assessment items may appear on PARCC
  • Indicates the cognitive demand students will have to demonstrate
  • Released Summer 2012

Creation of State Educator Leader Cadres

  • A network of K–16 educators that works actively in each state to provide professional development and expand the number of educators informed on CCSS and PARCC initiatives.
  • Created Summer 2011

PARCC Technology Readiness Tool

  • Developed by PARCC and by state agencies to gather data on technology capacity of schools and districts.
  • Use of the Tool to be determined by PED

PARCC has made public the minimum technology specifications:

Do you have questions about PARCC?
Contact Lynn Vasquez
PARCC Program Manager  


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