The PARCC Test- Testing everyone’s patience

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The PARCC Test- Testing everyone’s patience

As PARCC testing comes closer to being mandatory, public hatred for it grows.

As PARCC testing comes closer to being mandatory, public hatred for it grows.

Photo Credit: Photo via Westfield News under the Creative Commons License

As PARCC testing comes closer to being mandatory, public hatred for it grows.

Photo Credit: Photo via Westfield News under the Creative Commons License

Photo Credit: Photo via Westfield News under the Creative Commons License

As PARCC testing comes closer to being mandatory, public hatred for it grows.

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PARCC testing has swept across New Jersey in recent dates and the response hasn’t been positive.

The PARCC defines itself as “a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and careers.” Test-makers  at Pearson made the PARCC to replace outdated standardized tests such as NJASK and HSPA in the 2014-2015 school year.

That being said, critics and statisticians speculate that the PARCC makes little to no improvement from the NJASK. So the question raises: Then what is the true purpose of PARCC? Not many know, but many dislike the test.

Despite the negative response to this controversial test, it is becoming mandatory. New Jersey is turning this standardized test into a graduation requirement, requiring students to pass it to graduate.

In Woodbridge Township, this is the first year where no freshman were allowed to opt out of the test. In the past, opt out rates have been staggeringly high. While sophomores could choose to opt out, freshman could not.

New Jersey has contracted PARCC for the 2018-2019 school year, but there are said to be “great changes” to be made to it.

The widespread dislike

Photo via Mr. Benjamin Barbato
“Students aren’t standardized:” Elementary school teachers, Ms. Donna Mann and Mr. Benjamin Barbato, sport anti-standardized testing t-shirts in response to PARCC.

There is a widespread hatred for this test across the nation. When PARCC was at its peak, two dozen states participated in it. As of 2018, only six states (and Washington DC) participate.

The test is controversial for a large amount of reasons.

The test is convoluted and time-consuming. It is especially problematic due to its electronic nature. Younger students notoriously struggle with the combination of typing and testing.

Another problem stems from standardized testing in general. Many people oppose standardized testing. No student learns the same, but standardized testing forces them to learn the same.

And if they don’t learn the same, they fail the test. This causes issue with both parents and teachers alike.

A waste of time?

Photo Credit: Data via NJ.com
Colonia High’s 2017 PARCC Scores. A majority of students fail to meet expectations.

Here at Colonia, PARCC isn’t only controversial. Both staff and students absolutely hate the test- and for good reason.

PARCC cuts into everyone’s schedule at Colonia. There is less time spent in the classroom and more time spent sitting in silence clicking answers. It is a tremendous waste of time for both students and teachers. Instead of learning, students are stressing about an arbitrary test that means nothing to them.

Furthermore, upperclassmen at CHS don’t take the PARCC. Instead, upperclassmen follow a delayed opening schedule. Or, they cram into the gymnasium and auditorium to wait for the test to finish. This further wastes students time.

The upperclassman’s advisers (a small group of teachers) supervise the upperclassmen. The teachers that aren’t supervising are administering the test to underclassmen. Not only is it a waste of time to students who aren’t learning, it’s a waste of time to teachers.

And CHS continuously fails PARCC. Year after year, large percentages of students fail to meet expectations. Students don’t care enough about the test to exert their effort onto it. Every year, time is wasted because of this standardized test that no one genuinely cares about. The test displaces students and teachers and takes away their learning time.

Future Tests

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy has promised to abolish PARCC testing, but the plan is to replace it with yet another standardized test. Due to the money invested in the test, it will take 2-3 years for it to be abolished PARCC. It is speculated that replacing PARCC will cost millions of dollars in professional development. In a NJ101.5 article on PARCC, Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet explained that although New Jersey is contracted to use PARCC through the 2018-2019 school year, next year’s version of the exam could look different. Over the next few months, a 21-county tour will take place by the Department of Education to gather feedback on the test and graduation requirements. Write to New Jersey Department of Education to have your opinion heard about PARCC, future standardized tests, and graduation requirements that will impact New Jersey students.

 

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