2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 2:58 PM
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Knowing that PARCC is no longer tied to funding and D64 already participates in the much better and more accurate MAP testing, will you be opting out of PARCC close to Park Ridge? Why does D64 still purchase and participate in such an flawed and expensive standardized test. That money could be used elsewhere and that time out of the classroom testing is wasting instruction time and disrupting actual learning.

16 Comments:

2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 3:03 PM

Couldn't agree more.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 3:10 PM

It's not required anymore by Illinois? I had no idea.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 3:15 PM

While I detest PARCC, I do like the program that the district provides the kids to practice, it customizes to the kid.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 4:06 PM

Currently, Illinois requires PARCC for grades 3-8. High Schools no longer require PARCC and will take SAT. Illinois' contract with PARCC runs through the 2018 school year and it is unlikely things will change before then. I am unaware of any district that has been able to opt out. CPS tried and was forced by the state. Parents can opt out or choose to have students stay home. With the focus still on accountability, some form of state assessment will be necessary. What that will be is uncertain. Personally, I prefer a standards based system of assessment tied more directly to classroom performance through formative, summative and district based assessments.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 4:24 PM

Total waste of precious time!

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 4:55 PM

Agree but our state has decided to move forward with it

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 5:30 PM

There are no financial costs to school districts for PARCC

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 5:32 PM

It is a waste of time but definitely won't have my kids opt out, because IMO that is an even bigger waste of time. If you send your kids and have them opt out it is not like they will be getting instruction, they will be sitting in a room getting babysat. If they stay home they will rot their little brains out with video games and annoying cartoons (at least mine would). As much as I don't really see a point to the PARCC I do see it as an opportunity for the kids to practice taking a test under pressure. This is a life skill that hopefully one day when they are taking the ACT, SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT or whatever it is they end up doing, they will be able to stay calm and be ready. I have a few friends who get test anxiety like no other and perform poorly on these types of tests. My daughter gets all worked up and worried about the test but we use it as an opportunity to manage that anxiety and practice test taking strategies. Hopefully a useful test will be designed that will meet everyone's needs but until then I think we are stuck with this :(

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 7:02 PM

I have had to give this test. It's a waste of time and means nothing! It's just a way for testing companies to make more money. If ALL opted out, they would have to provide real instruction

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 7:32 PM

The more that opt out, the better. I am a teacher. I have my kids bring a great book to school to read during the PARCC testing. That is not a waste of time, in my opinion.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 7:35 PM

I DID NOT WRITE THIS but found it an interesting read. My reasons are not because I think my kids are precious snowflakes too delicate to take the tests. My reasons are that they are destroying the joy of learning, the joy of teaching, and the nature of education altogether. I view opting out as both a moral obligation and my obligation as a citizen to civilly disobey these requirements in defense of all children whose education is being gambled on. My goal is to eliminate the PARCC test from our state and stop the test-and-punish culture that has overtaken education. 1. Both the NCLB law and its replacement, the ESSA law, require testing once in high school. Illinois is testing TWICE in high school—formerly the ACT (now the SAT) and the PARCC test. Illinois cannot afford one test, let alone 2. We are exceeding the federal standard and are spending 35 million to do so. 2. The PARCC test gives no actual useful information to schools or families that can improve instruction. Google a PARCC score report. You will be underwhelmed. Trust. 3. The PARCC test uses robo-grading for written portions. This flies in the face of authentic writing, which is conducted to an audience for a specific purpose. 4. Abundant research shows that computer or iPad test takers do statistically worse on the test than their pencil and paper counterparts, which discredits its reliability. 5. The tests are developmentally inappropriate. A lexile is, roughly, a measure of reading level for reading material for kids. The PARCC test lexiles are above the corresponding grade-level lexiles. Some examples of the anxiety their difficulty induces have been incidents of kids vomiting, crying, and urinating on themselves. PARCC proctor booklets are now starting to discuss what to do if a child vomits on the test, as if this is normal. 6. On a related note, not a single high school student exceeded PARCC math standards in the entire state of Illinois. That means all the students who got perfect scores on their ACT, National Merit finalists, students who get 4’s and 5’s on AP Calculus exams—not even those students exceeded standards. Maybe the problem is the standards themselves. 7. The tests are excessively long. The MCAT to get into med school just went from 3 to 6 hours. The LSAT to get into law school is 4 hours. The 3rd grade PARCC test, absurdly, is over 8 hours. 8. Hours of testing mean hours of instruction lost. 9. Similarly, since PARCC is not the only test IL students take, more hours are lost than you realize. Many students take the MAP test 3 times a year in math and reading. Additionally, IL has a law known as PERA requiring student growth to be used for teacher evaluation. This law requires what are called Thankspe II and Thankspe III pre- and post-tests in all subjects. There are also midpoint tests, too. Some schools or districts continue to give the Explore or Plan tests. Finally, districts often give their own district assessments. Therefore, Illinois schoolchildren are losing untenable amounts of instruction. A high school student would be losing weeks of instruction in a class. A balanced assessment system is not about summative assessments but rather about formative ones. Almost all of these are summative. The students are over-tested, and all this testing is not changing results. 10. Speaking of accountability, the PARCC test exists for 2 reasons. The first is to provide evidence of student failure because politicians can score political points with it—they can break unions, eliminate tenure, and swear they’re doing it in the name of kids. The second is to provide evidence of failure so that they can justify the privatization of education, such that it becomes a means of profit. If you need any examples of why this is a bad idea, follow the decades-long documentation of charter schools violating civil rights. 11. The PARCC test collects private data on kids and families. Google inBloom or EdFacts. 12. Your kids will be ready for the ACT and SAT when the time comes to actually take those tests. I promise the PARCC will not prepare them for it. 13. The PARCC test is not linked in any way to college acceptance or transcripts. Colleges specifically do not accept it as an entrance exam. 14. Best practices in early childhood education are about play-based learning. Instead, kindergarteners are in full-day kindergarten being tracked for college and career readiness. 15. The PARCC test is required by the state of Illinois. The state of Illinois provides roughly a third of school funding to districts. It ranks 50th in the nation for its funding of schools. Thus, PARCC is an unfunded mandate, with the state not providing the resources needed to maximize success. We should be demanding better of our state. for resisting the PARCC test and encouraging others to do so.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 7:51 PM

The final ISBE ESSA plan (to being implementation in 17-18) outlines consequences for school districts not obtaining the required 95% participation rate on state assessments. Not having the 95% will disqualify the district for being given the highest ratings of "academic proficiency" and will contribute to a district being flagged for needing support and improvement. In short, opting out has the potential to impact our district ratings which in the long run can impact our home values.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 8:05 PM

#3 makes me sick. #5 makes me mad. Ditto #13. #14 is true and it makes responsible preschool teachers despair when small children are confined and doing paperwork instead of learning by discovering their new world and how it works. #15 is rather shocking. So. thanks for posting.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 9:02 PM

Does anyone know if they have make up tests for students that are absent but not opting out?

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 9:11 PM

This subject came up at Washington's PTO meeting tonight. A teacher told us that this is the first year she has seen PARCC testing anxiety in kids, they are super worried and have strange ideas. She said students are asking if they will be held back a grade if they don't do well, or if they won't get into college if they don't do well. She asked us to talk to our kids and explain that they should just do their best. She says she tells her kids that PARCC is to measure teachers, and MAP is to measure students. (This is not necessarily true, but helps ease anxiety). The VP also explained that Illinois elementary schools do not have the option to opt out of PARCC, it is still mandated by the state. She added that there was a group of local Superintendents that appealed to the State to opt out of PARCC, the argument being that the data is useless by the time they get it, and the amount of instructional time testing requires is detrimental. (MAP scores are available immediately, as are the identified areas that need improvement). She said the State denied the request, but is hopeful that the State will not renew the contract with PARCC, which I believe expires next year.

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2 months ago on 04/03/2017 at 10:57 PM

Agree. Tired of all this testing.

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