By Beth Werge
Called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the tests are supposed to gauge student achievement and readiness for college and careers. But parents and administrators alike are concerned for their students’ well being.
It’s a nationwide debate: The last of the PARCC exams made their way to CPS last week in preparation for distribution to students, following a walkout by 250 New Mexico high schoolers protesting the exam. In New Jersey, a superintendent is insisting that her whole district has to take the test, despite the NJ Assembly voting to halt standardized testing. In Louisiana, there have been mixed reviews of the test.
Closer to home, here in Chicago, a group called More Than a Score hosted a call to action, proving that opposition to the test is alive and well in Chicago. The city is defying a state mandate for these tests, and while standardized tests can offer important information and demographic measurements, those who oppose the new exam say the exam proves nothing and doesn’t benefit anyone except the company selling it. But HB 306 would allow parents to opt out of the exam for their children, something that – according to More Than a Score – would simplify things exponentially for students, teachers and parents alike.