Monday, February 23, 2015

This is a test, this is ONLY a test

Dear PARCC Protestors and Panickers

I promise you, your 8-18 year old has spent many more hours on frustrating and pointless video games than they will on this test.

They will not be harmed in the taking of the test in any way. If you would have seen the NJASK intimidating booklets you would see this is merciful.

Will the results be valid and useful ?  We will never know if everyone REFUSES to take it RIGHT ?


The education world has known this was coming for 5 years (even though social media has only erupted within the last few weeks. ) Schools have planned and purchased technology that they probably would not have prioritized if they didn’t have this deadline. (chalk one up for a good thing)

It is the 21st Century almost everything is managed on computers. Student assessment should be also.

We were forced to re-examine the way we delivered and assessed education when colleges and workplaces complained that students were entering college unprepared and couldn’t problem solve and think for themselves.

We adopted the Common Core standards. It is NOT a subversive national curriculum.
Please explore them if you haven’t

I am sure as a parent it was much more comforting to have a familiar looking math worksheet with one answer and one way to approach the problem. But unfortunately mastering that, doesn’t help you when life doesn’t present its math problems on an organized sheet for you.

And while straight memorization was predictable and impressive,  computer data bases have made that skill obsolete and now you actually have to know how to justify with evidence of any answers you do provide.


Just like all results they will be a part of how schools make decisions on resources . And on the larger scale how the state decides to which schools they should give more attention ($) .  There is legislation pending right now that will postpone use of results. This is wise.

Teachers are assessed on a 4 point scale . 4 is excellent (perfect almost) and 1 is awful.  Just statistically everyone will receive a 2 or a 3 when you average student results. That is a small part of picture . Observations and other goal setting are other ways to factor in what will mostly be 2 and 3 . Just like a grade point average in high school and college… almost everyone will fall between a 2.0 and 3.5 …. If you have below a 2.0 for a few years in a row there are sanctions. There is no great prize in most districts for higher scores.

Sadly I see many of my perfection oriented peers, inciting parents on this issue.

I published a Keep Calm and Carry On post a few months ago. Just thought I would revisit the issue as the panic seems to be rising…. Really KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON…..