Common Core / PARCC Testing

What is Common Core?

The Common Core State Standards are a list of statements declaring what students at every grade level should be learning. Read more about it:

Forty-five states have agreed to follow the Common Core. Maryland is one of those states. The states have joined one of two consortiums: PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career: or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium ( Maryland is part of the PARCC consortium. In fact, Maryland is one of the few states under PARCC that are considered to be "at the table" with PARCC which means that representatives from Maryland attend meetings with PARCC and are part of the decision making process. Maryland has taken the Common Core State Standards a step further to clarify them in the Maryland Frameworks (

So what does this mean for you and your child?

For the past few years, teachers at Cockeysville Middle School have been learning about the Common Core State Standards and have been preparing for the curriculum switch. Starting with the 2013-14 school year, new middle school curricula will be in place for ELA (English / Language Arts) and Math (Math 6, PreAlgebra 7, Math 8, and Algebra I). Not only WHAT will be taught has changed, but HOW lessons will be taught will be different too. This year the content for Science and Social Studies will remain the same, but again, the HOW lessons will be taught will change.

In addition, the MSA test has been replaced by the PARCC assessment. PARCC is sharing sample items as they are developed. (


What Can Parents Do to Help Their Children Learn?

Top Ten Things Parents Need to Know about the Common Core State Standards

Common Core Video Resources for Parents

Common Core State Standards' Myths and Facts

Sample Test Questions
Practice taking the PARCC test

Parent Guide for PARCC test results

PARCC states have partnered with GreatSchools to launch the Great Kids Test Guide for Parents, a new resource to assist parents in helping their children prepare academically for the next grade level and for college and careers. 
The guide was developed as a road map for parents. It gives you information about what your child needs to know at each grade level and how you can help your child succeed academically, based on how they performed on the PARCC assessment. It also explains what knowledge and skills are needed for each area of the test and which parts are especially tough for kids, while offering easy ways to boost a child's skills at home.

Great Schools Test Guide for Parents   

Getting Ready for PARCC 

Parents: Help Your Child Prepare With this Checklist
PARCC has released a five-step checklist that will help parents get their kids ready for testing. The checklist features links to a host of assessment-related resources from both PARCC and partners such as the National Parent Teacher AssociationLearning Heroes,Raise the Bar, and Great Kids, that will provide both parents and teachers with information about when the assessments will be given in their child's district, what will be expected of them when they are testing, and much more.
Both parents and teachers may also use the checklist to find practice tests, along with released items on the Partnership Resource CenterView the Checklist >>

The purpose of these tutorials is to demonstrate the navigation and tools available for Computer-Based Assessments and the use of the Test Booklet and Answer Documents for Paper-Based Assessments.