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2 Million Students Take PARCC Exams Despite Nationwide Opt-Outs

2 Million Students Take PARCC Exams Despite Nationwide Opt-Outs

Despite a number of students refusing to take the Common Core-aligned PARCC tests this spring, more than 2 million tests have been completed over the last week, eventually adding up to 5 million exams this year. 

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium began testing in eight states and the District of Columbia last month, and Louisiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will be administering PARCC exams soon, according to an article on USNews.com.

According to the article, "the statewide exam tests students each year in grades three through eight and once in high school on English language arts and math – the two subjects covered by the Common Core State Standards. The computer-based PARCC exam is administered in two parts: a performance-based component in the spring and an end-of-year component."

"Both components of the test are essential to getting a complete picture of student understanding and achievement," the consortium said in the article. "Together, they measure the full range of the learning standards, including knowledge, concepts and skills."

Parents and teachers, however, are still expressing concern that the tests "may be too difficult or time-consuming, or that their schools' technology might not be up to snuff for what the tests require," the article said.

"In some states, such as Illinois and Arizona, legislation would allow students to opt out of taking the exams. In others – Colorado and Ohio, for example – state education leaders previously said there would be consequences for refusing to take the tests, but have since backed off and said they won't penalize districts if a large number of students opt out. "

The article stated that "while state superintendents and school leaders have in some instances encouraged parents to not seek to remove their children from testing by saying doing so has the potential to negatively affect school districts, others say testing is important to ensure all students are receiving a quality education."

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said in an article on Chalkbeat Colorado that the assessments "help us to see if we are meeting the high standards we have set for ourselves in Colorado." Opting out, he said, "just makes this work harder."

"With full participation, we can ensure that every student gets a great education. We can ensure teachers and other educators get the credit they deserve for their incredible efforts," Garcia said. "That’s why I’m urging students to take the test and that’s why I’m asking parents to encourage their kids to participate."

Read the full story and comment below. Are you happy with your district's decision on the PARCC? Why or why not?

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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