TCAP and PARCC Student Tests
Author: Linda Wesson
The Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, is a set of statewide assessments given to Tennessee public school students each year. The test items are “criterion-referenced,” which means they measure student performance against specific standards, which, for TCAP, are the state curriculum standards set by the State Board of Education. The board’s standards for each subject area in grades K-8 and for courses in grades 9-12 specify learning expectations and performance indicators, which detail the specific things students should know and be able to do upon completion of the grade or course. In 2004-15, Tennessee will replace the state’s TCAP tests for math, reading/language arts, and writing with assessments developed through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Since 2010, Tennessee has been a governing state in the PARCC state consortium. PARCC assessments will be computer-based with performance components that shift away from traditional multiple-choice formats. This brief answers questions related to the alignment of Tennessee’s curriculum standards with student tests and the cost of assessment.