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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, is the District of Columbia's annual assessment of mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA), based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These assessments measure the knowledge and skills that matter most for students — understanding complex texts, evidence-based writing, mathematical problem-solving — all skills that lead to confidence and success in key academic areas. 

Students in grades 3 through 8 and high school take state assessments in ELA and mathematics online each spring. These assessment results are one of several measures — including report card grades, classroom performance, and teacher feedback — that together create a broader picture of a child’s progress. To learn more about DC's state assessments and resources available to educators and families, please explore the resources below.

Test Design

DC's state assessments were built to assess the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). To better understand the structure and content of the assessment, the PARCC website provides ELA test specification documents and mathematics test specification documents to the public. These documents include claims structures and test blueprints that outline the goals and format of the assessment and evidence statements the link the assessment content to CCSS.

In the 2020-21 school year, following engagement with LEAs and our assessment vendor partners, OSSE adopted more efficient PARCC blueprints that require fewer units and less overall testing time for students across all grade levels and subjects. The adjusted PARCC blueprints:

  • Maintain a proportional coverage of CCSS and a representative sampling of standards and evidence statements
  • Maintain a similar proportion of items to the PARCC blueprint across the item types, content domains, and subclaims
  • Maintain the performance scale, all five performance levels, and reported subclaims
  • Follow the same rigorous development process, reviews, and policies
  • Are administered on the same platform, use the same accommodations and accessibility features, and provide the same experience for students

ELA Test Specification Documents

Math Test Specification Documents

To give educators a powerful tool for classroom teaching and learning, we have released test items that were used during state assessment administration. This item library includes assessment items, scoring rubrics, and sample scored and annotated student responses in both ELA and mathematics for grade 3 through high school.

Practice Tests and Tutorials

Resources have been developed to allow students, families, and educators to experience the computer-based format, item types, and technology features on the PARCC assessment. The practice site includes the following: Practice Tests; Tutorials; Sample Items.

Accessibility for All Students

OSSE is committed to providing equitable assessment opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. The PARCC assessment includes a wide range of accommodations and accessibility features that can be administered to support students. More information can be found on OSSE’s Testing Accommodations page and this page on PARCC accessibility. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities take an alternate assessment to PARCC, the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA). More information on the MSAA assessment can be found here.

ELA and Mathematics Assessment Results

OSSE has posted public results from the 2021-22 DC state assessment administration online. The data files provide aggregate state-, sector-, and school-level results.

Students' PARCC scores fall into one of five performance levels, each describing how well the student met the expectations for their grade level/course:

  • Level 1: Did Not Yet Meet Expectations
  • Level 2: Partially Met Expectations
  • Level 3: Approached Expectations
  • Level 4: Met Expectations
  • Level 5: Exceeded Expectations

Levels 4 and 5 indicate being on track for the next grade level and to leave high school college and career ready.‚Äč

The score ranges for each performance level, by grade/course can be found here:

Explore the 2021-22 Results | Read OSSE’s Statement on DC’s 2021-22 State Assessment Results

Archived Results

Test Coordinator Resources

Resources for Test Coordinators who support schools and LEAs with the administration of the PARCC assessment can be found here.


Contact the OSSE Assessment Team
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 304-3269
TTY: 711