In our state we our implementing the PARCC assessments for the 2014-2015 school year. I was looking over sample items for alg 1, geometry, and alg 2, and they look pretty tough. The actual math doesn't look terribly out of reach, but the way they ask them the problems is absurd. Instead of saying factor 81x^2-100y^2, they ask the question as "find values of a, b, c, and d so that 81x^2-100y^2=(ax+by)(cx+dy)". Many of my kids who can factor that (especially the spec ed kids in my room) will not even attempt that because it sounds so hard. I know some districts in my state (like one my friend teaches in) that haven't even changed the curriculum yet. I teach in one of the top districts in my state, and even we are a little concerned with the difficulty level of these (particularly for classified students). I can't imagine how some of the other districts will pull it off..really. One or two teachers in my department who have been teaching these subjects for several years(alg 1, geo, and alg 2) have requested to move up to pre-calc or something else so that they don't have to deal with it. I don't know---what do you know about these tests?