The following is a letter written by a Maryland 5th grader sent to me by her mom. Do you suppose Ms Slover or any of the self-serving privatizers will listen? Maybe we should all send a copy of this letter to Ms. Slover to get her attention.
May 4, 2016
Ms. Laura McGiffert Slover and PARCC Administrators
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005
Dear PARCC administrators,
I am a fifth grade student who just recently completed the Partnership Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. I have taken this test since I was in third grade and I feel that this test is unnecessary and unfair to students and teachers across the country.
I believe, despite politicians, test designers and experts, that this test is completely inaccurate and erroneous .This test cannot possibly measure our knowledge or predict where students will be in twenty years. Therefore, each individual will learn at their own pace, suggesting the PARCC cannot anticipate when a student learns. Students will decide how much they learn, who they learn it from and when they learn the curriculum; the government should not decide that.
Another reason I feel PARCC should not be considered as part of the educational system is because the PARCC is an unfair and unjust test. I believe this because this test is biased against disabled and mentally/physically ill children. We should be focusing more on testing that, doesn’t challenges the abilities of a student, but gives the student opportunities to complete the test as they wish (this does not meet the standards of standardized testing). I feel this way because no matter how ill or disabled a child could be, by law, the child is required to complete this test within the time given; this could be a major struggle for a child.
Third, I feel like this test is a waste of instructional time. We are required to complete at least 2 sessions of testing a year, each lasting as long as ninety minutes each. The opportunity for students to get a good education is taken away as they complete this test as directed. This test not only takes the time away from students, but also complicates the responsibilities for a teacher. Teachers are not meant to give nor advise tests; the common role of a teacher is to educate students.
Lastly, I feel that the quality of this test is atrocious and it is put together with second rate quality. From previous experience I found that this test includes various errors such as punctuation mistakes, unclear questions and poor test design and content on the test was unfamiliar as well.
I appreciate the effort that the PARCC administration puts into the test each year, and the efforts of teachers and staff that cooperate with PARCC, but I do not feel as if this test is necessary in our society today. I hope you take my opinion into account and hopefully revise this test in the future. Thank you for your consideration.
Claire Doran, age 11