The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to create assessments that determine whether students are heading in the right direction to be successful in college and their careers. These high-quality computer assessments in Mathematics and Language Arts are supposed to give teachers, schools, students, and parent’s better information on the student’s progress in school. The test questions may be unfamiliar to those who have taken different tests most of their life.
The questions consist of multiple problem solving techniques and unique ways to tell whether these children really know what to do and how to do it. Students read passages, watch videos, listen to audio, fill in the blank, matching, drag-and-drop, and type answers. These may be very difficult for children to do under different circumstances and situations. I am in the 9th grade, and taking a test on a computer may not be what I would call easy, but it wouldn’t be a problem for me. I’ve been using computers in school for a long time now, and it isn’t difficult for me to understand them.
But something that I don’t understand about this test is that it is K-12, which means Kindergarten-12th grade. It sounds hard to believe, Kindergarteners taking the PARCC test? But I went on the PARCC website; sure enough it was right there under the “About PARCC” tab in the second sentence. Others have said that it starts in the 3rd grade, which is what I hope is true. But even then, I don’t believe that students in the 3rd grade should have to take a test that determines whether you are ready for college. I am for the PARCC test, as long as it starts at a relevant age.
One of the reasons I think it should be for older ages is because of the computers. Taking a test on the computer for me is not difficult, but I am in the 9th grade. When I think about children taking a test on computers, I’m not sure that it would work so well. First off, children who are young enough that they cannot read shouldn’t be taking the PARCC test. They can’t read, so how can they take the test? Second of all, these kids aren’t going to want to sit down and test for an hour or more at a time, most of them can hardly keep still for five minutes. Third, children do not need to be sucked into computers at that age.
Kids are supposed to play and have fun, not sit in front of a computer screen. Another problem I have with the age is that this test will not benefit them. As stated at the beginning of this article, PARCC stands for The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The highlight I’m talking about is that it says Readiness for College and Careers, these kids are not going to college anytime soon. One of the reasons I think that older students should take the test, is because I think it is beneficial to us. Yearly tests don’t always have to be a bad thing; personally, I don’t mind them at all.
As much as people hate when they fail, I feel like it is helping them more than hurting. At least if they fail then they are able to get the right help and they don’t fall behind in class anymore. Also, taking the test can show how much progress students are making in class, and tell whether or not the teacher is doing their job. Though I do think that we should test, they should decide on which test instead of changing it. Changing the test can be difficult for students who have taken a different test for most of their lives.
Overall, I don’t think that PARCC is an absolutely horrible thing. I personally was not a huge fan of the test, but I don’t feel that it was completely the tests’ fault. No one likes tests, but they are necessary to education. PARCC has its ups and downs, but there isn’t a reason to complain. If we get rid of PARCC then we will still get a different test we dislike, tests never go away.