PARCC Family Letter

PARCC Score Release & What to Expect

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Later this fall, you’ll receive your child’s results from last school year’s PARCC test, New Mexico’s new annual assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and math.  The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states, including New Mexico, which brought educators and other experts together to develop tests aligned to higher standards, and provide a deeper level of information to teachers and parents to support students. This assessment will be an important tool for you and educators to use to ensure your child is on track for success, and this letter and guide is intended to give you a better idea of what to expect.

PARCC replaces New Mexico’s previous annual test, the Standards Based Assessment (SBA), and is based on the higher standards that your children are being taught in the classroom, which prepare them for success in today’s world. The test moves away from fill-in-the bubble questions and requires students to read complex text, develop well-organized written responses, answer real-world math problems, and describe and defend their reasoning.  PARCC test scores are just one measure that can be used to give you and teachers a more accurate picture of your child’s academic progress.

We expect that you will receive your child’s score report in the fall, later than usual, but the goal for future years is to have results available before the beginning of the school year. Individual student scores are broken down into different categories in both ELA and math. This helps you and your child’s teachers understand specific areas where your child is doing well and where he or she needs more help.

You may notice that your child’s scores—and scores for your school and district—are lower than you’ve seen on the SBA in past years. This doesn’t mean that your child or your school took a step backward this year. Instead, it reflects the fact that the PARCC test measures more complex, real-world skills, and is more challenging than SBA. PARCC is establishing a new, more accurate baseline from which progress can be measured moving forward.  Because PARCC is so much different than the SBA, PARCC scores should not be directly compared to SBA scores.

We expect New Mexico’s scores to improve over time as teachers and students become more familiar with the state academic standards and the PARCC assessment, but our students and teachers have shown that they can rise to the challenge.

We appreciate your patience this year as we transition to a set of standards and a test that will put our students on track to ensure they are prepared to achieve their full potential. Ahead of statewide, districtwide, and individual score reports, you can visit for more information about PARCC, how it will be used, and how to support your child.

Thank you.



What is PARCC?

PARCC is a new, more challenging assessment that replaced the SBA, our former statewide test. PARCC tests math and English Language Arts (ELA) and was administered to 3rd–11th grade New Mexico public school students for the first time in the Spring of 2015.


Why did New Mexico switch to PARCC?

In 2010, New Mexico raised the academic bar and adopted new state standards for ELA and math, known as the New Mexico Common Core State Standards. PARCC is based on those new standards and is the first statewide test in New Mexico to measure how well our students are learning these higher standards. While the new standards are more challenging, the intention is to ensure that our kids graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in today’s world.


When can I expect to receive PARCC scores?

Your child’s scores will be provided to districts as outlined below:

  State and district results available Student score reports available to districts*
High School Results October 16 November 2
Elementary and Middle School Results October 30 December 1
*Distribution method and schedule will be determined by each school district



Why is PARCC valuable?

For Students: PARCC scores will be used to better tailor instruction to individual student needs. PARCC results will also help students know how well their school is doing to prepare them for success in today’s world. For high school seniors, a passing PARCC score demonstrates readiness for graduation

For parents: PARCC scores can be used by parents to identify areas of improvement for their child and inform conversations with teachers regarding meeting their child’s needs both in the classroom and at home. The scores will also be used in calculating school grades, which provide parents with an indicator of school effectiveness.

For teachers: PARCC scores will help educators tailor instruction to individual student needs and measure how well students are performing using the higher standards. Teachers will also be able to use PARCC scores to identify areas for personal growth and improvement.