Sen. Howie Morales has called for an end to PARCC testing. He aptly says, “…Instead of using scarce public dollars for proven methods of bettering education — smaller class sizes, more professional development for educators, more books, librarians, nurses, counselors, and instructors for art, dance and music — the Martinez administration’s policy has been to funnel millions to corporations for the PARCC curriculum and tests and their technology. Classroom teachers and parents never had any serious input into the exam. Instead, it was handed down to states and schools from huge corporations that stood to profit from its adoption, and the federal government…While tens of millions of dollars were diverted from K-12 classrooms in New Mexico to for-profit contracts for federal standards, tests and technology, we now face a massive teacher shortage.”
I agree, PARCC testing has not improved the educational system for New Mexico as a whole. One thing for certain, the PARCC rebellion reflects the need for local control over education. Each community has vastly different needs and priorities. A responsive, accountable, and accessible school board and superintendent seeks input from teachers, parents, and students, to determine the best ways to assess and improve academic proficiency. What works in Los Alamos, doesn’t work in Cuba or Silver City.
Sen. Morales decries huge corporations that profit millions from PARCC, but it is the bad fruit from the tree of corruption and cronyism. Common Core is “infested with essentially the same set of people rewarding each other with taxpayer dollars and huge private grants, decades before there can be any proof that all this money laundering produced a genuine public good. Common Core is a giant experiment, remember.” When in doubt, follow the money.
In the end, parents have the final say, and should exercise their right to opt-out, if they so choose. Districts that tell parents they cannot do so, in Sen. Morales’ words, violate “a parent’s right to choose what is best for their children and it is unacceptable. Our children must not be used as leverage in a misguided national trend of high-stakes testing in public education.”
As a parent, I anxiously awaited my daughter’s PARCC scores. Since there are no “grades” at her level, PARCC was my metric for her academic proficiency and preparation for college readiness. It was my choice, however, and her scores confirmed that she was indeed thriving in our public schools.
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