Opinions About PARCC Mixed at ASK

May 6, 2015

The Zoetics

By Rylee Felzien

The New Mexico Education Department adopted the  Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) standardized tests this year, and students, parents, and teachers across the state have reacted adversely, staging multiple walkouts and refusing to participate in the assessment. Scholars at ASK took the test in late March and early April, and the feelings about the test have been mixed.

Eleventh grader Marilyn Cope said she was not happy with the test. “They are asking arbitrary things like, ‘What is the main concept?’ And I never found what I thought was the main concept in the answers.” This year’s 11th graders are most affected by the new test, as they are required to pass the test to graduate.  “It’s ridiculously stupid, because we took SBA last year; it should have counted. Now we have to pass PARCC,” Cope said.

Not every scholar was upset about the test. Wyatt Miller, a 7th grader, said, “The directions are very clear, and it feels like it is a good assessment of all the stuff we learned.”

Junior Ashley Burke said, “I like the actual passages and what they have you do and answer. What I don’t like is how it is set up, and how you have all this stuff you have to do, and it is hard to just sit there and just do it on the computer – stare at the screen.”

The test itself offered some technical difficulties for some scholars. Freshman Jacob Molina stated, “PARCC has plenty of technical issues – such as not being able to log on – and has many setbacks that require a teacher’s aid. It undermines the students ability and it overall affects their [scholar’s] test taking skills.”

Project Managers also had varying opinions about the test.

Michelle Peterson, who teaches 9th grade English and Technology, said she needs to see the results before she can make a decision. “When it comes to PARCC specifically, I don’t have much of an opinion about it because I don’t know much about it. What I would like to see is an evaluation and assessment of students that captures them as a whole. I don’t know what that looks like, and I don’t know if that looks like PARCC.”

Math Manager Emina Slavnic strongly disapproves of the test. “I disagree with it. I just think it’s ridiculous to judge a person’s skill knowledge and abilities on some arbitrary facts at some arbitrary time. I don’t see any way that it enriches education. It is not what education to me, is about. In my opinion, education should inspire young people to seek knowledge, not prove [it].”

The Catalyst made several attempts to contact Education Administrator Joslyn Overby at the New Mexico Public Education department, but phone calls and emails were not returned.



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