The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, tasked with creating exams that align with the Common Core State Standards, has decided that results from Algebra 2 or Math 3 exams will be used to determine college students’ math readiness. The tests — part of two sets of math exams being drafted by the group — are in the design phase and are expected to be in use in spring 2015.

College students’ math readiness in 22 states and the District of Columbia will be determined by an end-of-course test in the last of a three-course sequence, a common-standards assessment consortium has decided.

The decision by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, or PARCC, resolves the question of which tests would be used to decide whether students may skip remedial college mathematics and enroll directly in certain credit-bearing entry-level courses.

PARCC is designing two sets of high school math tests, for traditional or “integrated” course sequences: Algebra 1, geometry, and Algebra 2, and Math 1, Math 2, and Math 3. At a meeting here of its governing board last month, the group decided to base the “college-readiness determination” on students’ scores on the Algebra 2 or Math 3 exam.

The tests, now in the design phase, are scheduled to first be given in spring 2015. They are part of a project to create math and English/language arts tests for the Common Core State Standards. All but four states have adopted the ELA standards and all but five the math. PARCC is building tests for its 23 members, and another group of states, theSmarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, is crafting tests for its 25 members. Earlier, PARCC decided that to be deemed college-ready in math or English/language arts, students would have to score at level 4 on a five-level test. The cutoff scores for each level have yet to be determined.


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