Originally published 3/14/17.
The logo of the very controversial test.
While many standardized tests have received criticism over the years, no test has received as much criticism as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, as it is commonly known. With the PARCC right around the corner for some, it’s as great a time as ever to question the merit of the highly controversial test. When it was first administered in the 2014-2015 school year, the test was vilified by teachers and parents everywhere. However, it was also receiving praise and is evidently being administered in several states for the third year in a row. This raises an important question: three years later, is the test still worth administering? Unfortunately, the most resounding answer would be a firm no.
While schools are better prepared, many schools still struggle to meet the technological demand that PARCC puts on schools. Schools were drastically under-prepared when PARCC began. In fact, at my school there was a power outage on the first day of PARCC because of how under-prepared the school was for this technological drain. Like many schools, the school was forced to invest in better technology, which led to budget cuts in other areas. PARCC forced the school to accommodate it, rather than accommodate to schools.
Of course, while the technological drain cannot be blamed fully on PARCC, the test has some other bad qualities that have remained. For instance, the exam is unnecessarily time consuming. Teachers must spend time during the year preparing students for standardized tests like PARCC, which takes time away from other subjects. Likewise, the time allotted to PARCC is a time that school may not in session. At my school, we are only coming in at 10:30 on all PARCC days to allow for testing to run in the mornings. As someone who is not taking the PARCC test, this means I miss out on four classes every day for a seemingly pointless test.
The kind of setup that students may be taking these tests in.
Additionally, there is backing to attest that this test is pointless. For starters, students can take other tests to be exempt from taking the PARCC altogether. There is no reason to push a test that others can make up for. Likewise, there is still no solid backing that the PARCC is capable of preparing students for either college or future careers. Without any solid proof of preparation, it seems pointless to push for something aimed entirely at preparing students for the future.
While standardized testing, as a whole, is a completely different ballpark, it can undeniably be said that the PARCC has no place in schools. Due to the continued technological drain, the lost class time, and the fact that the test is rendered useless, it seems that the test has not changed to be valuable for students. Thus, this particular test has no place in schools and should not be administered for a fourth year.