Commentary on Mathematica’s “First Study of Its Kind” of PARCC
On October 05, 2015, Mathematica published a study comparing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
In this post, I comment on a number of details related to the Mathematica study, which does not support the “next generation” hype associated with supposedly Common-Core-aligned PARCC.
The study is entitled, “Predictive Validity of MCAS and PARCC: Comparing 10th Grade MCAS Tests to PARCC Integrated Math II, Algebra II, and 10th Grade English Language Arts Test.”
Even the title is problematic, for it implies that the study is predictive– that 10th-grade students completed MCAS and PARCC and were tracked across years to see the degree to which these two tests predict the success of these 10th graders once they reach college. Later in the study, the researchers admit that they were only able to measure “concurrent validity.”
Not so. As it turns out, Mathematica administered these 10th-grade tests to current college freshman. So, there is no prediction. At best, the study can assess the degree to which college freshman who do well on 10th-grade MCAS and 10th/11th-grade PARCC have college grades that the researchers deem to indicate “college Commentary on Mathematica’s “First Study of Its Kind” of PARCC | deutsch29: