Education

Letters to the Editor

Why All Parents Should Consider Refusing the PARCC—2017 Edition

Hi. My name is Jen Grana – 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.

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.

Sign Up for E-News

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.

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 Like

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police Rescue Two Dogs from House Fire

April 20, 2017

SPARTA, NJ -A Sparta police officers rescued two dogs from a house fire on the afternoon of April 13.  Around 3:30 p.m.  Cpl. Rick Smith broke the rear sliding glass door of 65 Hillside Road to be sure no one was in the house that was on fire, police report.

With flames and smoke coming from the second story the police checked and found only the dogs at home.  After getting the ...

Sparta Recognizes April as 9-1-1 Month

SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Township Council proclaimed the week of April 9 to 15 National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and April  9-1-1 Education Month.  Mayor Gil Gibbs read a proclamation that was accepted by Acting Chief Neil Spidaletto. 

Spidaletto explained the police department sends dispatchers to school to talk with the first and second grade students and ...

Sparta Police: Port Jervis Woman Faces Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop

SPARTA, NJ – A woman from Port Jervis was stopped on Route 15 for having a broken tail light on April 11 around 1 a.m. Sgt. John Lamon stopped the 1998 Plymouth, driven by Amanda Strohmeier on the northbound side, police report.

When Lamon spoke with suspected Strohmeier he suspected the 26-year-old was under the influence of a narcotic.  Lamon, joined by Sparta Cpl Joe Antonello ...

The First Earth Day and Now

April 24, 2017

To the Editor: Earth Day

I went to the first Earth Day at a college in Jersey City. Earth Day had been proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, and Pete McCloskey, a Republican Conservationist, for April 1970 after an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  We would have many more  of those in coming years.

At the first Earth Day, we students probably had a ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_793dc5d78cd2eb3f44cb_d3d4cec7c0d5934899b4_a2171f6659390caa5fb8_img_9573__800x533_

Sat, April 29, 10:00 AM

Sparta Police Department, Sparta

Mark your calendar April 29th to “Spring Clean” ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_610fded038b2ebe987f6_boe_sign__4_

Sat, April 29, 12:00 PM

Mohawk Avenue School, Sparta

Sparta Board of Education Retreat

Education

Carousel_image_06cc1db30be010947cb3_jacky-murphey_-alicia-shearer_-patti-bruterri_-holly-george

Mon, May 1, 6:00 PM

Perona Farms, Sparta

Area Designers Raise Funds for Project ...

Giving Back

Wed, May 3, 12:00 PM

Stanhope

LinkedIn 101

Business & Finance

Rumors of Poisoned Animals Spread After Two Dead Deer Were Found in Kenilworth

April 25, 2017

KENILWORTH, NJ- Rumors of poisoned animals are spreading after a post in the Union County Lost Pets Facebook Group showed a photo of two dead deer on a Kenilworth street. The resident who posted the photo also claimed that there was a dead cat in the same area.

According to comments on the Facebook page, the animals were found on Michigan Avenue and the deer show no major signs of ...

Sparta Softball and Paige Smith Shuts Down Jefferson

April 25, 2017

SPARTA, NJ - Seemingly pitching everyday, Paige Smith is still throwing strikes. Her complete game gave Sparta a 4-0 win over Jefferson for their seventh win of the season. 

Smith had 11 strikeouts and only gave up one hit. She got to two strikes on most batters and made Jefferson's batters miss badly with two strikeouts. She was not hit hard at all but great plays were made ...

Forgotten Soldiers: Why Congress Must Authorize an Emergency Expansion of the Afghan SIV Program

Congressional inaction to authorize visas for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program has recently resulted in America breaking its promise of safety to thousands of Afghan interpreters and aides who risked their lives to assist US troops and diplomates. Such short-sighted policy undermines both our moral and national security imperatives.  It is morally reprehensible to abandon already ...

Need another reason to stop drinking diet soda? New research finds an association between artificial sweeteners, stroke and dementia.

Results of research published this week in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that over a seven year period, people who drank one artificially sweetened beverage a day were almost 3 times (2.96 times to be exact) more likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot than were people who didn’t drink artificially sweetened beverages. The same held true for dementia and ...

April 12, 2017 Sussex County Freeholders Meeting

Link to the video of the April 12, 2017 Sussex County Freeholders Meeting

Freeholder Meetings - YouTube

 

Food Assistance available in May

April 29, 2017

Fresh, refrigerated and frozen food is available to northwestern New Jersey residents at reduced prices through the Jolin Food Box program.  The food assistance program offers a variety of ordering options, from breakfast-lunch-dinner combination packs to boxes of dinner entrees to special packages just for children. 

Each month features a variety of high-quality menu items from ...