Will You Allow Your Children to Take the New Standardized Test?

The Peabody School Committee is going to allow parents to opt-out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) test, which is part of the Common Core standards.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.

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:

March 12: Should Schools Get Rid of the MCAS?

March 10: Learn More About Common Core on Tuesday

Feb. 27: Common Core ‘Completely Botched,’ Union Leader Says 

Feb. 11: Seven Peabody Schools Will Take Possible MCAS Replacement Test

David McGeney March 16, 2014 at 07:14 PM
Parents and others can see Professor Stotski's compelling testimony right here: http://peabodytv.com/watch/73c33d09
Lee P. Barrios March 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM
I have seen numerous reports from various states about opting out of PARCC. None have acknowledged that because the test is NOT being given to all students in all schools that there is NO requirement that all students be tested. It only makes sense that students can opt out. The fact that a state may mandate a test be given does not indicate that all students (who are selected) must take the test. Here in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana our district superintendent simply instructed principals that students would be allowed to opt out - common sense. Why resist and stir up yet another CCSS hornet's nest. A large number if parents are particularly concerned about data privacy related to this particular on-line assessment.
diane March 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM
BeeKeeper March 17, 2014 at 02:23 PM
You are confusing "Common Core" which is a set of teaching/learning standards and the "PARCC Assessment" which is a test similar to MCAS that assesses whether students are learning the standards their teachers are charged with teaching them. Massachusetts incorporated the Common Core State Standards in their 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Math and ELA so all Massachusetts students are currently learning the Common Core Standards. The MCAS is also currently assessing those standards in Math and ELA in Gr. 3-8. The Mass. State Board is looking at whether to replace MCAS with the PARCC assessments in 2016 or to keep MCAS and update it to better assess the new standards.
David McGeney March 20, 2014 at 04:38 AM
To BeeKeeper. Common Core has become the catch-all title for the entire plot to Federalize public schools. The whole thing is nothing more than a money and power grab.


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