PARCC victimhood, and why it's overblown

Editorial by the Star-Ledger Editorial Board

03/23/15

 Enough: This hysteria about the PARCC exam needs to stop.

New Jersey has to have standards to keep up with other states. This is a new test, we are learning as we go and there will be rough spots. 

Some districts are eliminating midterms and finals, so as not to overwhelm kids with standardized tests. Fine. PARCC is challenging. NJ ASK, its previous incarnation, was more of a pushover. 

Parents have been allowed to refuse the PARCC test for their kids, and of course, no kid should be forced to sit for hours and stare at a blank computer screen while other students take it. 

But be reasonable, people. Kids are not being spied upon. Parents shouldn't expect privacy for their children's public tweets or Facebook postings, and the state has every right to monitor for cheating. 

Some parents are actually upset that they were never told that their kids shouldn't be dictating test questions to other kids online. Really?

Remember that there is a broader public purpose here, one much more important than taking pot shots at the PARCC. One of the main reasons we need this standardized test is for parents in struggling districts like Camden or Newark, who would otherwise have no way of knowing whether their kids are in a failing school. The whining of parents in districts that don't have to worry about that sort of thing shouldn't take precedence.

You could also be in a suburban school, thinking you have the best district in the world, and then compare your test scores against others in the state and see you have some improving to do. 

With the added variable of a multi-million dollar campaign against the test by the teacher's union, which doesn't want the PARCC to factor into teacher evaluations, the collective freakout has reached a crescendo. Let's try to dial it down.

« Back to List