The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to improve standardized K-12 testing and to help students, teachers, and parents succeed in a standards-based education environment. They wanted to provide a variety of training tools and foster multifaceted communications among the various parties via a new web-based Partnership Resource Center (PRC).
Given the wide variety of communication tools they planned to host on the PRC site and the large number of contributors who would be inputting content, they chose a Drupal 7 CMS platform. PARCC chose Drupal because of its incredible flexibility for adding content and functionality, as well as its large user community and deep developer resources for future support. In addition, Drupal’s open-source availability means that it comes with no prohibitive licensing fees.
Breakthrough Technologies Brings Open-Source Drupal Power
To build its PRC site, PARCC selected Breakthrough Technologies for the firm’s advanced expertise in Drupal and its depth of experience in the academic world. BT partnered with PARCC to create a user-friendly, well-rounded test prep portal. The PRC website acclimates teachers to the test experience, including types of content that students should know, any unfamiliar test item types, and the best means for student preparation. The priority for the BT user experience team was making it easy to use: something non-technical students, teachers and parents could navigate and understand.
Rich with Features, Tools, and Resources
The Library feature gives teachers the chance to learn more about the reasons for the test, general Common Core information, and specifics about PARCC. In the library, educators find instructional information, videos, and web links. Even better, teachers can request resources, submit articles themselves, and share their findings on social media.
Teachers of primary school students (K-2) can use the Library to launch reading assessments for young learners, aligning their studies with Common Core initiatives.
Teachers can access sample test items, use them to train themselves, and then arm students with the confidence granted by a practice test. Young minds get the chance to tackle unfamiliar formats and work through the experience with a teacher’s guidance.
While teachers have more overall access, parents too can visit the site, learn more about the test, and get an idea of what children should expect.
The site also provides teachers with access to online courses that enhance their professional development. Organized by targeted sections, teachers learn step by step how to prep students for testing. A teacher’s progress is tracked through the system and access is controlled until mastery.