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Educators Say PARCC Exams Better Than Before, Survey Finds

Educators Say PARCC Exams Better Than Before, Survey Finds

A recent survey found that 79 percent of teachers said that the PARCC exams aligned with the Common Core State Standards are an improvement over previous tests.

The survey, conducted by Teach Plus, a non-profit focused on keeping teachers in urban classrooms, "asked teachers in Boston, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, and Washington, D.C., to evaluate the sample questions provided by PARCC, one of the two consortia of states tapped by the federal government to create tests for the Common Core," according to an article on HechingerReport.org. "The PARCC tests will look different from what students and teachers are used to seeing. Not only will they be online, they also contain more questions that require students to write their answers."

"While most of the teachers surveyed thought that PARCC would be better than what they currently have in their states, they also had suggestions on ways to improve the tests," the article said. "Before the teachers were allowed to assess the tests, Teach Plus provided them with training to ensure they had the necessary background knowledge. This included information on the goals and intentions of PARCC and the Common Core, as well as a rubric on what high-quality tests look like."

According to the article, 5 percent of teachers said "their old state tests were better." A smaller percentage, 63 percent, "said that PARCC is well aligned to the Common Core, a set of grade-level expectations in math and English in place in over 40 states."

"But only 43 percent said PARCC, when compared to the old tests, would more accurately measure what they are teaching," the article said. "The report hypothesized that this gap might be attributable to the fact that some teachers haven’t fully switched to the standards."

Maura Henry, ESL teacher in Queens, said that she would "like to see PARCC replace New York's Common Core tests," the article said.

“PARCC is a vast improvement over what we have right now,” said Henry in the article. “The questions are clearer and they actually test higher order thinking skills. They are not perfect, but they are much more aligned to the standards.”

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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