Comparing the Predictive Validity of High-Stakes Standardized Tests

Case Study, Education Next Discuss PARCC and MCAS Ability to Predict College Outcomes
May 18, 2016

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A Mathematica case study and a recent article in Education Next examine first-of-its-kind research that measures how accurately a so-called next generation high school assessment designed for the Common Core predicts college success, compared with the existing state assessment in Massachusetts. The study, conducted for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, aimed to answer an open question: Does the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam succeed in measuring college readiness better than the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)?
Mathematica’s study revealed that both exams predict college readiness and, ultimately, helped inform the state’s decision on which test to use in the future. But the findings have implications beyond the Bay State. By examining rigorous evidence about the validity of these two exams, Massachusetts provides a model for other states weighing difficult choices about their educational assessments.
Listen to a podcast on the study.

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