So there's been a lot of talk in the news recently about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC tests. Schools are releasing information on scores, and a lot of people are very critical of the test.
The Trentonian recently published a story reporting on Hopewell Valley School teachers who recently criticized the PARCC tests saying that they're not a good method of teacher evaluation. Their superintendent, teachers union, board of education, and administrative union have all come together and issued a joint statement towards the Department of Education that basically said that they should be evaluating teachers on their actual performance instead of the PARCC test scores.
So are these people right about the PARCC test not being the fairest way to judge the quality of their teachers? Well, it's hard to say. I've been out of high school for a few years
now. So I've never taken the PARRC tests. And I don't really know anyone who has. But let's take a look at this based on what I do know.
Okay, so first let me give the makers of these tests the benefit of the doubt and assume just for a moment that the PARCC tests are fair in the sense that they accurately assess high school students on the information that they should be learning. Well, even if students end up doing poorly, it might not necessarily be the teachers' fault. I mean, no matter how good a teacher may be, sometimes some students just might not put in the needed effort to learn. Or maybe certain students might not have the necessary help and support from their parents. And what about those children with undiagnosed disabilities that make school more difficult for them? I personally struggled with ADHD for most of my time in school and didn't get diagnosed until my senior year of high school.
But then there's also the question of are these tests actually fairly assessing children on information that their teachers are supposed to be teaching them? Well, there's not really any way of me being able to know this for sure at this point. But if all these people seem to think so, then it could at least be worth looking into. I mean, if it was just the teachers saying this then that could easily suggest that they're trying to cover up for not being better at their jobs. But with the superintendent and the board of education saying it too, it makes me think that they could have a valid point. Basically, I think the Department of Education should start taking these criticisms of the test seriously. As far as what will come out of this, only time will tell.