Concerned about the new Common Core standards and the
associated PARCC test, the Peabody School Committee voted on Thursday to allow
parents to opt-out of the tests for their children.
Peabody is one of the communities that will be testing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) test this year. The School Committee agreed 5-1 on Thursday to allow parents to opt-out. Members said the pilot PARCC test would be in addition to the MCAS tests, reported the Salem News.
Seven Peabody schools will take the PARCC tests as a test group this spring. State education officials are testing whether to replace the MCAS test with the PARCC. More than 1.35 million students from 14 states will take PARCC field tests in English language arts or mathematics this spring.
Captain Samuel Brown, John E. Burke, Center, John E. McCarthy and West Memorial Elementary schools, Higgins Middle School and Peabody Veterans Memorial High School will all take the paper exam. Some schools across the state are taking an online version.
Education officials will have a two-year “try out” to determine whether the PARCC “can better serve the Commonwealth's goal of ensuring that all students have the academic preparation necessary to successfully pursue higher education, careers, and citizenship” than the MCAS.
Concerns about a second test and the Common Core standards caused the Peabody School Committee to vote to allow parents to opt-out. The committee also voted unanimously to petition the state to withdraw Massachusetts from the Common Core program. The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has already approved pushing back Common Core implementation until 2015.
The Peabody School Committee’s decision came two days after Sandra Stotsky, who is a Common Core expert and professor of education emerita at the University of Arkansas, spoke to Peabody parents about Common Core.
Here is some previous coverage of Common Core and the PARCC test: