On the PARCC Test

Alongside the balance that I have encouraged in thinking about the Common Core, it is only fair to add my concern regarding the PARCC Test. Thanks especially to Jennifer Hierbaum Pastore for prompting me to think a bit more about PARCC this week.

So much of what we hear about Common Core and PARCC testing isn’t local. These issues are impacting schools, students, staff, and families all around the country, and I enjoy perusing what people are saying in different states. Ultimately, given the nature of our *United States* of America, these decisions are political decisions at a state level. In this moment, I’m not using the word “political” to express concern or a negative bias. I simply mean that the decisions are being made by states in state legislatures. Every state government is appropriately interested in the education of its children. And they each approach things in a different way. That’s just one of the myriad of reasons we see Common Core playing out differently state by state.

The PARCC Test is (last I recall) being used by only 7 states. For this reason, I think it’s especially helpful to hear from school districts right here in Illinois. The following testimony was offered at an Illinois House of Representatives hearing just this past Wednesday. The speaker is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction for Leyden School District, up by O’Hare. His position is comparable to Assistant Superintendent Faith Dahlquist in District 200.

Take a look at the testimony. The recording is particularly interesting as well. I appreciate the detail of the commentary regarding the impact of testing on students taking the test and those who aren’t. Pay particular attention to the comments about high school, where very few students are actually required to take the test, but the schedule will impact every student.

I’m not to the point of solutions. Right now, I’m simply sitting with some concern and wondering what to do. Any thoughts?

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