Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Opt Out must: The PARCC field tests.

The PARCC field tests are coming to selected schools around New York State.  What is PARCC?  A new online assessment that will be used by many states.  PARCC will most likely replace the NYS Assessments in 2015-16.  These exams will dramatically increase the amount of mandated testing for our children and will be triple the cost of the current assessments.  Schools must make significant and costly updates to their technology infrastructure to meet the minimum requirements for the PARCC tests.  With all the backlash over testing and the Common Core,  NYS Board of Regents has been strangely silent on PARCC recently, but we can be sure they are quietly moving forward with this plan.

What is a field test? http://www.nystoptesting.com/2012/09/field-tests-coming-to-ny-schools-in.html

For more on PARCC (including testing time-frames):  http://atthechalkface.com/2013/07/24/no-parccing/

Examples of PARCC testing discussed here: http://atthechalkface.com/2014/01/27/parcc-more-bang-for-the-buck/

The bottom line is that our children are losing more instruction time to "try out" the new PARCC assessments.  For 3-8 students, add in the six days NYS Assessments in April, and we can see the impact of high-stakes testing on our children.  High Schools are also impacted by the PARCC field tests and will lose valuable time as the important Regents Exams approach.

The field tests do not count towards your child's grades, teacher evaluations, and school ratings- so this is easy--- OPT OUT and REFUSE!

If your local school is on this list, advocate with your school board or administration to drop the plan to administer the field tests.  Invoke your family's right to "refuse" another test that takes away from real learning opportunities.  Your child can also just "click through the test and finish without really answering any questions, thereby ruining PARCC's plan to gather data to create future exams.

Important notes:

  • Some schools will be completing paper versions of the test, others will be trying out the new online version.  
  • If your school is assigned the "Performance-Based Assessment (PBA)" the window for the testing is from March 24-April 1, right before the start of 3-8 State Assessments.  

  • If your school is assigned the "End of Year (EOY) " Assessment, the window for the testing is from May 5- June 6.
  • Find out which version of test and the exact dates from your school and advocate against wasting more of your child's education.'
  • I was able to obtain a separate list of Western New York schools that breaks down the type of PARCC field test and the testing window for each school.  Scroll to the bottom of this entry to view.

Here are the NYS schools who will be giving the PARCC exams:

Download the file or larger/ alternative view here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/206494593/PARCC-Field-Test-NY-schools-2014

WNY PARCC breakdown - click to enlarge images.