Peter Greene said:
[When advocates] come to explain how crucial PARCC testing is for your child’s future, you might try asking some questions:
- Exactly what is the correspondence between PARCC results and college readiness? Given the precise data, can you tell me what score my eight year old needs to get on the test to be guaranteed at least a 3.75 GPA at college?
- Does it matter which college he attends, or will test results guarantee he is ready for all colleges?
- Can you show me the research and data that led you to conclude that Test Result A = College Result X? How exactly do you know that meeting the state’s politically chosen cut score means that my child is prepared to be a college success?
- Since the PARCC tests math and language, will it still tell me if my child is ready to be a history or music major? How about geology or women’s studies?
- My daughter plans to be a stay-at-home mom. Can she skip the test? Since that’s her chosen career, is there a portion of the PARCC that tests her lady parts and their ability to make babies?
- Which section of the PARCC tests a student’s readiness to start a career as a welder? Is it the same part that tests readiness to become a ski instructor, pro football player, or dental assistant?
- I see that the PARCC will be used to “customize instruction.” Does that mean you’re giving the test tomorrow (because it’a almost November already)? How soon will the teacher get the detailed customizing information– one week? Ten days? How will the PARCC results help my child’s choir director and phys ed teacher customize instruction?
… The PARCC may look like just one more poorly-constructed standardized math and language test, but it is apparently super-duper magical, with the ability to measure every aspect of a child’s education and tell whether the child is ready for college and career, regardless of which college, which major, which career, and which child we are talking about. By looking at your eight year old’s standardized math and language test, we can tell whether she’s on track to be a philosophy major at Harvard or an airline pilot! It’s absolutely magical!
Never has a single standardized test claimed so much magical power with so little actual data to back up its assertions.
Image credit: Caution: Magician Ahead!, Kevin Trotman