Letters to the Editor

The PARCC Assessment is Hurting the Classroom


My name is David Kahana, I am 17 and a student at Randolph High School, NJ. The PARCC assessment is currently being administered for three weeks in my school, and has been very disruptive to my class environment. Since there are not enough computers for all 1,800 students, the assessment, which was intended to be completed in a week, is being extended to the three weeks.

My classes have been increasingly dysfunctional due to the PARCC assessment. Math and English classes are being used for the assessment and all the students will only be attending each individual class around four times this month. This is inefficient and has serious negative implications. 

There is no real reason why 95% of students need to take the PARCC. 68.6% of highschoolers in New Jersey go to college and they will be taking the ACTs or SATs. The scores earned by students on these exams can be calculated and used in conjunction with the 31.4% of highschoolers who take the PARCC to provide analytical evalutations.

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If the PARCC was only required for those students not taking SATs and ACTs, significantly less class time will be wasted and PARCC could be administered over a weekend or after school (in the same way the ACTs or SATs are adminstered). 

Additionally, because there is no individual benefit, many students lack incentives to excel on the tests, potentially skewing any results obtained from the assessment. This will not only create inaccurate educational policies, but will hurt teachers. The PARCC will be used to evaluate teachers, and within the context of students not caring, this will work to hurt many excellent teachers. 

Finally, despite the administration's assurances that "there is no reason to stress out" on these tests, the act of taking a test is inherently stressful for most. Taking an exam that covers an entire year's curriculum is mentally taxing. The PARCC is an unnecessary added standardized test in an every-growing number of standardized tests high school students are facing. There has been too much time devoted to preparing and taking standardized or quarterly exams, time that cuts into actual learning. 

To share my concern, I decided to create a petiton--- to show there is a unified opinion on how the PARCC is doing more damage to the classroom then its intended benefit. In order to help me create a meaningful impact, please take a look at the petition, and if you agree, sign it and share it.

If we consolidate our opinions via the petition, we will be able to stir attention to have real change.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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