Letter To The Editor: Helping My Child Cope With PARCC Test

Parent of LAPS Elementary Student

Yes, this test is probably finally putting parents, students and educators on unnecessary overload, stress and tilt for apparently no good reason.

An editorial in Los Alamos Daily Post Tuesday explained that we, as parents, can actually opt their child out of taking the test. And, just today, there is an editorial written by a Los Alamos High School Junior about the poor decision by law-makers to implement this test. 

My approach with my child who is bothered about this up-coming test stress, has been to compare it to times in her life when she has had to meet a “standard” in order to go forward. Such as showing a ‘standard of ability’ to make her sports team – which she loves.

I reminded her that all the kids on the team need to be able to do certain things to be on the team, and that not all team members are good at the same things. So, she’s allowed to not be good at parts of the test, okay at parts of it, and will surely see parts of it that she is comfortable with. But, overall, she’s a fine student … just like she’s a fine athlete.

I have been honest and have told her that the teachers don’t want to do it either! Yes, she was shocked by this and, of course, can’t comprehend that law-makers further up the chain are actually the ones in control, not her teacher.

I’ve explained that in the same way the coaches need to see how the team is doing overall by having each team member ‘show their stuff’, the “education coaches” are asking teachers and students to answer these questions because they think it will show them how well the education team is doing. 

Additionally, I told her that the best way to think about it is that it’s just good practice for taking tests. Tests are part of life and being comfortable with testing is a great life skill.

And, most importantly, the test has nothing to do with how wonderful she is. No matter what she gets right or wrong, she’s wonderful and we already know that.

That said, I wish this wasn’t being forced upon the students or the staff. This is indeed difficult.

I’ve recently seen more stress among the teachers than I’ve seen in a long time. Our teachers are very talented and would like to just teach and let learning flow; instead of shoving young minds into narrow places where they can’t expand naturally.

It will be behind all of us soon, in the meantime, doing my best to keep myself and my child calm.


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