Delran Education Association to Host “Take the PARCC” Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The 2014-2015 academic year is well underway, and with it comes the promise of a new beginning for school children all over the country.

But with this new beginning also comes a new era of high-stakes standardized testing. This year, New Jersey’s public school children in grades 3-11 will take Common Core-aligned PARCC tests, a series of online assessments that “allow parents and educators to see how children are progressing in school and whether they are on track for postsecondary success”–and on September 30th, Education Commissioner David Hespe announced that all students, beginning with the Class of 2016 (current juniors), must pass at least one PARCC assessment each in math and language arts in order to graduate.

While virtually everyone agrees that meaningful assessment has an important role in the classroom, many parents, students, teachers, and taxpayers are becoming increasingly concerned about the extent to which high-stakes tests–and the issues associated with them–are shaping public education in the United States.

Because there is so much uncertainty and misinformation about standardized testing in general–and, more specifically, about PARCC assessments–the Delran Education Association will host a “Take the PARCC” night to allow parents, educators, board of education members, legislators, and taxpayers to experience online PARCC assessments and engage in a discussion about high-stakes testing that will address the following:

  • What is the purpose of PARCC testing–and how will the results of these tests be used?
  • Who creates and scores the PARCC?
  • What is the federal government’s role in standardized testing?
  • How many standardized tests will New Jersey students be required to take this year?
  • How much instructional time will be devoted to testing?
  • To what extent is curriculum being shaped by standardized testing?
  • To what extent are teachers being asked to use test-prep materials–produced and sold by testing corporations like Pearson–in class?
  • How has standardized testing affected children’s feelings about school?
  • What data is being collected about each student who takes standardized tests–and with whom is that data information shared?
  • How much do the PARCC tests–and the tecnhological and logistical requirements that accompany them–cost?
  • Are districts being forced to cut programs and/or personnel to budget for PARCC exams?
  • What, if anything, can local boards of education do about state- and federally-mandated testing?
  • What rights do parents have with regard to refusing testing for their children?
  • Who determines how districts handle refusals?
  • Could districts face negative consequences–financial or otherwise–if students refuse the tests?

We will be joined by Susan Cauldwell, lead organizer of Save Our Schools New Jersey, and we have extended invitations to other New Jersey student-advocacy groups. Announcements about their participation will be posted via social media in the weeks leading up to the event. Stay tuned for more information.

Anyone interested in participating in the Delran Education Association’s “Take the PARCC” event should mark their calendars with the information below and confirm their attendance by using the registration link below.

 

“Take the PARCC”*

Wednesday, December 3rd at 7pm

The Enterprise Center at Burlington County College

3331 Route 38

Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

 

*Because the PARCC is an online assessment, we ask that registrants bring their own wi-fi enabled devices to the event. (Laptops and tablets will work well; we do not recommend attendees use a smartphone.) The Delran Education Association will have a limited number of devices available for those who cannot bring their own, but attendees must request a device when they register.

Registration for this event is now open; please click here to reserve your spot ***UPDATE: this event is at capacity, and we regret that we cannot accept any more registrants. Thank you for your interest.

Please also visit us on Facebook.


Press Contact:

Michael Kaminski–President, Delran Education Association: mkaminski@delranea.org

Ani McHugh–Delran Education Association: ani.mchugh@hotmail.com

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Delran Education Association to Host “Take the PARCC” Event

  1. Shirley Rossi

    Will you show and explain how this test works with special education? Will you show and demonstrate how each district is to include typing classes to complete the test?

    • Hi, Shirley,
      We’ll do our best to answer any questions that participants have.

      Many people are concerned about the impact these tests will have on students with special needs, and many people are concerned that students without access to technology at home will be at a disadvantage on PARCC and other online tests. (Another concern is that technology instruction–including the development of typing skills–for the primary sake of test prep is harmful to children.) So yes: we’ll address these issues.

  2. I am impressed with how progressive Delran is being by holding this meeting. It says a lot about your community. Way to go!!

    • Thank you, Katie! We have wonderful kids, families, and educators in Delran. It’s a great place, and we’re always working to build and maintain positive relationships within the community since we all share a common goal.

  3. Mary

    What about third graders struggling to read? How do they take the test?

    • Great question, Mary, and one we will discuss at the event. We hope that parents and teachers of such students will come and experience for themselves the tests our kids will be taking–and then decide whether or not they feel the PARCC is an appropriate measure of student ability, progress, etc.

  4. Andrea F.

    Is this just for the Delran Community or can other educators join?

  5. Dawn

    I’m having my daughter opt out. She is a junior and was part of the pilot testing for Algebra II last year. She said it was so frustrating and she knew very few of the answers. She had a 95 year end grade in Algebra II last year and currently has a 92 in Pre-calc and trig so she’s no dummy. The test is a waste of time and doesn’t prove anything. Let the kids grades in school be the determining factor. Some kids don’t test well (my daughter does test well) but she gets very stressed as do all kids. Her classroom grades will determine whether she graduates, don’t some test created by a for profit company!

  6. Pingback: New Jersey voters on standardized testing: ENOUGH. | teacherbiz

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