SPRINGFIELD - The House Education – School Curriculum and Policies Committee will take testimony Wednesday on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test mandate. The test assesses how well students are learning the Common Core curriculum.
A parents' group called "PARK the PARCC" set up a Facebook page and is encouraging parents and taxpayers to support State Rep. Will Guzzardi's HB 306, which allows students to opt out of the PARCC testing.
There are 10 reasons, the group says, to oppose the PARCC assessment mandate:
1. High-stakes standardized testing takes an emotional toll on students.
2. The PARCC test drives the standardization of learning.
3. Test prep means less quality instructional time in schools.
4. The PARCC test is a fundamentally flawed assessment.
5. Schools around the state of Maryland are unprepared to take a high stakes exam.
6. PARCC is a cash cow for testing companies such as Pearson, Inc.
7. School districts have been bullied into accepting PARCC and the Common Core – and residents have been failed by their elected leaders who signed on to it.
8. PARCC test scores will be used to justify punitive measures.
9. There is no legal way for school administrators to force your child to take a test she or he does not want to take.
10. Now is the time!
State Rep. Ron Sandack, who sits on the committee holding the hearing, wrote to his constituents Monday that the members expected to hear concerns from affected parents, teachers, and representatives of school districts.
"Many people are opposed to both the new test and to the way it is being implemented here in Illinois," Sandack writes. "Educators have raised concerns about inadequate technology, lack of testing infrastructure to match the spaces required to administer the test, overall school funding issues as they intersect with this test mandate, and issues of student preparation for the test."
On the other hand, those that defend the testing say the school districts were duly notified about the PARCC testing, and that many notifications went out to school districts. Contracts have already been signed to administer the test and that the test is being enforced by a hard mandate from the federal Department of Education, they say.
Sections of federal law direct the Department to withhold major subcategories of federal school aid from the school districts of a state that is not in compliance with nationwide testing mandates, according to letters sent from State School Superintendent Christopher Koch and State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks.
The committee hearing will be at the State Capitol's Room 114 Wednesday at 4:00 PM.