American PARCC and SBAC and Their Implications on the Construction of English Assessment System in China

  •  Haiyan Zhang    
  •  Kai Kang    


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Systems (SBAC) started in the 2014-2015 academic year and has been regarded by many in the field as a radical effort to improve the American English Language Art (ELA) educational standards. These two consortia, being aligned with Common Core State Standards, aim to fulfill Common Core’s purpose of preparing students for college and career readiness. With the support of computer technology, diverse forms of testing are introduced into the new assessment systems, making the standard-based test comprehensive enough to evaluate academic literacy and deep learning capacity in an authentic way.

This paper mainly discusses similarities and differences between the two assessment systems in terms of ELA standards. The similarities appear in the construction of well-balanced assessment structure, the application of advanced computer technology, adherence to an evidence-based design principle and emphasis upon educational equity. The key differences are presented in aspects of test forms and accommodation options. The analysis of PARCC and SBAC assessment systems also provides China with various thought provoking aspects to develop a sound English Language assessment system.

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