To The Editor: New Jersey Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington is making nearly all third graders in the state of New Jersey take the PARCC test on a computer knowing scores would measure more accurately, and very likely be substantially higher if the test were administered with pencil and paper.
Many reputable articles in professional publications substantiate this. My son is in third grade. I am both a concerned father and an educator. Why would Ms. Harrington not want New Jersey students to achieve the highest scores possible? PARCC assessment tests the knowledge students acquire from their teacher, not adeptness using a computer – or am I missing something? Ms. Harrington’s insistence the PARCC be administered on a computer not only likely negatively impacts scores, but also potentially reflects negatively on a teacher’s evaluation as 30% is based on PARCC scores.
I would like to understand more about your logic behind this mandate. Schools unfortunately have cast aside handwriting instruction and other important developmental skills to make room for PARCC. Why then insist the PARCC be administered on computer?
Many parents across New Jersey are anxious to hear Ms. Harrington's detailed reasoning on this matter.
David Di Gregorio
Englewood Cliffs, NJ