The PARCC assessment system is an annual year-end test in English language arts/literacy, and mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school.
Most states voluntarily adopted new, more rigorous academic standards in 2010 and 2011 and teachers have been using them since then in their daily instruction. As a result, states needed high-quality assessments aligned to those standards that would test students of all achievement levels on what they are learning.
Many of the old state tests measured only lower-level skills. The new assessments serve as an "educational GPS system," measure students’ current performance, and point the way to what students need to learn by graduation so they are ready for college and/or a career.