Parent Reaction to PARCC

Building principals in the Kirtland Local School District in Kirtland, Ohio, recently hosted parent meetings to talk about the upcoming PARCC tests which are being used to measure student performance against the Common Core Standards.  At the end of each discussion session, the parents completed feedback forms so they could share their feelings about these newly created high stakes tests.  Kirtland Superintendent Steve Barrett who also attended the parent meetings provides this report on what Kirtland’s parents had to say:

It was interesting.  Many parents expressed anger and were somewhat dismayed.  They wanted to know why the state and the federal government were requiring students to take tests that would take anywhere from 10 to 15 hours over multiple days, depending on the grade level.  They also questioned the content and format of the assessments.  Here are some of their comments below:
  •  It seems like the state and federal government are simply testing to test.  What is the ultimate goal?
  • These tests will be stressful for kids and take away from class time/instruction.
  • Make sure all parents know about this, especially parents who could not make the meeting.  Explain to them how this was forced on us.
  • Who will be grading these tests?
  • If the tests are given online, what happens when computers crash?
  • I don’t mind testing if the results can be used to better classroom instruction.  I feel that this should not be a government issue.
  • The testing methods/(questions) seem too cumbersome for kids to navigate, trying to figure out what to read and what the questions are asking.
  • I believe that kids need something to look forward too after the testing is over: pizza party, ice cream etc..
  • I like the new rigor of the curriculum (CCSS), but I don’t like the government overreach.  I wish we could opt out as a district from all this.  If there is a waiver you can get-go for it!  Will 504 and special education students get extra time?  Can we tutor these students after school to prepare them?
  • I like that you are keeping us informed. 
  • The testing makes me very nervous for my kids.  I hate the whole thing.
  • I like that kids are being challenged and tested on things learned but don’t like the implementation of it and the fact that individuals (who don’t know our kids) will be scoring these tests.
  • Good discussion- you provided us with a lot of information
  • I am worried how these tests might effect my child’s placement in future (honors) classes.
  • The process of implementing this new system feels rushed
  • Can you post a link to the practice tests?
  • Good presentation – good to see the actual tests.  One of the tests is on my daughter’s birthday.  I will probably hear a lot about that.
  • I am glad I came tonight.  The testing is more extensive than I thought.
  • I dislike how long the tests will take for kids to do.
  • Does this really help students throughout the state?  It seems like it will just reinforce the positive and the negative.
  • It is a lot of testing with little feedback to students.
  • The testing company has not given itself enough time get the tests ready and systems in place.
  • (Kids) will be distracted by some of these questions.

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