Education

Letters to the Editor

Why All Parents Should Consider Refusing the PARCC—2017 Edition

bd994e7836c14d5b7f13_letter_to_the_editor.jpg
bd994e7836c14d5b7f13_letter_to_the_editor.jpg

Dear Editor:

I live in Sparta township and have 3 boys – 2 of which are in the public education system now – a middle schooler, a Kindergartner and a sweet oblivious 2 year old who will be there before I know it I am sure. We spend a lot of time talking about and thinking about public education in our house because we will be knee-deep in it for the next 20 years or so and every spring we end up discussing the same thing – refusing the PARCC test and what that means.

Like all parents, I want my children to work hard in school. I want the teachers to use their talent and their education to help them grow into passionate learners and creative thinkers. I want my all of my children to make their way through elementary and middle school, successfully transitioning from grade to grade with their teachers support, passing tests all the while. Then, through high school. Then, with hope, they will go to college or technical school and find a job that they LOVE. I didn’t set out to raise them to be working representatives of what the U.S. can learn faster or do better than other countries. I’m raising them to be decent human beings that can be proud of themselves and their accomplishments. To do that they need their teachers.

Sign Up for E-News

The PARCC test has proven far too costly. It costs students who don’t perform up to state standards hours of preparation time to get a better score the following year. Sometimes, it will cost them an extra work period or an elective period as a result – throwing the rest of their grades they work all year long towards to the wind. The PARCC test costs kids with special needs FAR too much stress to sit through a test that the result means nothing for. It costs teachers valuable instruction time. The PARCC tests costs the students and teachers time that could be spent on literature, creative writing and the flexibility to experiment with new teaching techniques. The PARCC tests cost teachers the ability to teach WHAT they want their kids to know and understand and HOW they want them to learn it.

Last year, hundreds of parents came from ALL over New Jersey to the NJ Department of Education in Trenton. They took days off of work; they spent valuable time preparing public testimonies. They drove to Trenton from all corners of the state to tell the NJ BOE face to face that they do NOT believe the PARCC should be considered for a graduation requirement in NJ. Parents, teachers, lawyers, doctors – showed up to express how troubling it was to them that the PARCC test was even being considered as such. Not ONE person showed up to support this resolution… and the BOE passed it anyway. Refusing to participate in this test is the only way to directly and effectively show the state that you think it is time that they listen. Teachers and administrators cannot speak up… but parents can and this is how. The state wants your student’s data and they want their participation but you do NOT have to give it to them.

I am not writing to tell every parent to sit down and write a refusal letter. I am just writing to say you that you can. I am writing to say–please read about it, research the many reasons why thousands of parents are around our area and why that same many numbers of teachers and administrators around the state are quietly hoping that you do.

One thing I realized during my journey of learning more about this is that it’s not just about my child, it’s about all of the children in NJ. There is a lot going on in education – in our country and in our state. The “test and punish” culture that has been established and promoted in our state is not working, has the potential to get worse and cannot and should not continue.

If you find that you disagree with all that is happening, surrounding the PARCC test and standardized testing, now would be the time to make your voice heard and refusing is the best way to do that.

Jen Grana

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

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Small Fire Extinguished at Addams Tavern in Westfield

June 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It likely started with a smoldering cigarette, according to Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Tiller.

The fire that started in a flower planter on an outside deck on the second floor of Addams Tavern Wednesday caused a lot of smoke as it spread to the flooring, but only about a three-foot by three-foot area was damaged, Tiller said.

The restaurant at 115 Elm St. is ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Watson Coleman Statement on Shooting at Trenton Art All Night

June 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

I am saddened and angered at the violence that took place at Art All Night (in Trenton) early this morning, and I am praying for all of the families involved, but, as I’ve said before, that’s not enough. After every shooting, we talk about motive, mental illness and every other distraction from the real problem — guns.

New Jersey has some of the strongest gun ...

Medical Mystery of the Month – Exploding Head Syndrome

June 4, 2018

Scotch Plains, NJ - Have you ever heard a gunshot or other loud noise when falling asleep or upon waking, but the person right next to you didn’t hear a thing? If so, you may have been experiencing exploding head syndrome (EHS.) Other reported sounds from people who suffer from this condition include roaring, waves crashing, explosions or loud ringing, and for some, flashes of light may ...

Scotch Plains Library to Host Teen Afternoons in Summer

June 18, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- In lieu of the Scotch Plains Library’s after school club, the teen department will host weekly summer programs for patrons in grades 5-12. Starting on July 2, teens are invited to hang out, play games, and make crafts every Monday at 3 pm. 

Starting on July 11, the library will offer special programming every other Wednesday at 3 pm. Rock candy, slime, and ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality