Via John Chase, here’s a snip from PARCC’s recent (October 25, 2012) release on performance level descriptors:
It must be noted that the academic knowledge, skills, and practices defined by the PARCC CCR Determinations in ELA/literacy and mathematics are an essential part of students’ readiness for college and careers, but do not encompass the full range of knowledge, skills, and practices students need for success in postsecondary programs and careers. For example, Conley (2012) includes learning skills and techniques such as persistence, motivation, and time management as critical elements of college and career readiness, along with transition skills and knowledge such as awareness of postsecondary norms and culture and career awareness4. The Association of Career Technical Education (2010) includes employability skills and technical skills, as well as academic skills, as critical components of career readiness5.
A comprehensive determination of college and career readiness that would include additional factors such as these is beyond the scope of the PARCC assessments in ELA/literacy and mathematics. Many states, however, are engaged in identifying these factors and determining ways to support students in strengthening them as part of a broad agenda to increase college graduation rates and career success.
Since these non-academic factors are so important, PARCC College- and Career-Ready Determinations can only provide an estimate of the likelihood that students who earn them have the academic preparation necessary to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing courses.
Accordingly, the information and process used to identify the scores on PARCC assessments used to make College- and Career-Ready Determinations will be designed to promote confidence in the estimate, realizing that no estimate can be 100 percent accurate. [Emphasis mine.]
I’m not sure if this is good news (they’re admitting that they can’t account for everything kids need to be successful in college and career) or bad news (we’re right back where we stated in terms of states trying to figure it out on their own.)
Either way, part of me wishes the emphasis was “flipped”.