I was contacted by the president of PARCC and asked to remove copyrighted material from this post. I did so.




Professor Celia Oyler at Teachers College, Columbia University, posted a critique of the 4th grade PARCC test on her blog by a teacher who must remain anonymous.


The teacher wrote this exposé because she was outraged by the absurdly inappropriate questions. She gives examples of questions and text that are appropriate for students in grades 6-8, but they are on a test for 4th graders.


She/he writes:


“So, right out of the gate, 4th graders are being asked to read and respond to texts that are two grade levels above the recommended benchmark. After they struggle through difficult texts with advanced vocabulary and nuanced sentence structures, they then have to answer multiple choice questions that are, by design, intended to distract students with answers that appear to be correct except for some technicality.”


The test doesn’t even assess what it claims to assess, nor does it accurately reflect the standards.


Read the examples she/he includes to illustrate her argument.


She/he concludes:


[Deleted example]


“In this sample, the system is pathetically failing a generation of children who deserve better, and when they are adults, they may not have the skills needed to engage as citizens and problem-solvers. So it is up to us, those of us who remember a better way and can imagine a way out, to make the case for stopping standardized tests like PARCC from corrupting the educational opportunities of so many of our children.”


This analysis helps to exain why the PARCC consortium is shrinking. It started with 24 states and DC. It is now down to six or seven states and DC.


Parents should refuse to allow their children to sit for these exams. PARCC should be permanently parked–far from children.