PARCC Takes Its Toll on Some
All the commotion about PARCC has been going on for a while. Parents are concerned for there children because they think its going to be hard. Students are complaining because that is what kids do. PARCC standing for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is a computer based performing test. There are only 12 states taking the computer based test and the others who opted out took a written based test.
The first section of the test that we took was more of open-response questions and as we have been told the second part which we will be taking sometime in May will be more of multiple choice. Before taking the PARCC assessment, we went online at school and took practice tests and walk throughs to get the feel for it. It was actually not that complicated. My one big concern was that my computer was going to shutoff and I was not going to be able to finish my test. That’s why there are two teachers in the room; one to watch the students and pass items out and one who had a computer showing him/her what was happening on the students computers at all times.
So if your computer was down for 10 minutes before you finally got to start your test again, you had 10 extra minutes to take it which was an advantage, except it wasn’t because it resulted in the student having to make it up at a later date which caused students to miss precious class time. With taking the benchmark exam for the past years, all the students took the test at the same time which meant class time was underway in no time so not as much of school work was missed and students were not sitting in class doing nothing as with the PARCC examination. Some flaws about the PARCC exam was at any time the Wi-Fi could cut out and quit working because so many computers were being used at once. This resulted in more regular class time being missed. As with the benchmark this wasn’t a factor that could happen. After taking the assessment, it was not as bad as everybody said, but it did have some minor problems.
On the practice test it showed that we were aloud to use online tools but when the test started there were no tools such as the background color. At this point the teacher cannot help you, so you just have to move along and try your best. To give PARCC some credit, there are some pretty neat things about the computer based test like the audio. While taking the benchmark for the past however many years you was not aloud to have a teacher read you the problem because they weren’t aloud to see the test. PARCC solved the problem. They added an audio feature.
If you had a struggle with a problem or word, you could just put on the headphones and clicked the audio feature play button. It was very helpful in my case when I could not understand the question I was asked to answer. Also while taking the English section of the assessment if you came upon a word and it was underlined you could put your curser on the word and it would pull up an online dictionary with the meaning of the certain word, but there was a downfall to this to. There were some words in which I had know idea what they meant but there was no dictionary of glossary for me to look at. So how are students supposed to understand the question or passage without knowing the meaning? Another problem is teachers, parents and students are not aloud to talk about the test to each other. So if you had a problem over literature or math, no matter the circumstance you were not allowed to talk about it.
After reading and finding out more information, I read that teachers can have their license pulled in a certain degree if a PARCC administrator found out the examination was being discussed in a way which was not allowed. Overall, the PARCC computer based test was a downfall in many ways.