A Walk in the PARCC

Kyle Perry, Writer

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The newly introduced PARCC test has caused confusion and server failure for students and some staff at Franklin High School (FHS). Information from the administration can elucidate the background, purpose, and future of PARCC.

First, PARCC is not yet a done deal. The question of whether or not it will be implemented will be voted on in early September by the Board of Education and the State.

This new form of state testing is meant to judge a student’s college and career readiness. It tests application of skills as opposed to recitation of memorized information.

The acronym of PARCC stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The name itself outlines the purpose of the organization and the point of the assessment.

This new test prepares students for their futures in education and the field of their choosing as opposed to the current student knowledge check-in, in the form of MCAS. When asked about this purpose, the Coordinator of Testing, Ms. Yankee stated: “The mission is great.”

It is common knowledge that PARCC does not affect any students this year. In addition to that, even if it is voted to be implemented, the test will not have any effect on the classes of 2015 through 2018. It may however be a graduation requirement for the class of 2019.

The plan is to phase out MCAS over the course of the next two years should PARCC be approved by the State. However, due to the lack of a sufficient MCAS substitute, the Biology MCAS will remain.

As an aside on testing, the pilot Math PARCC Test this year will only be for freshmen and juniors taking Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry.

Ms. Squires, the assistant principal for academics, stated: “Shifting from a state to a national test is something in [and] of itself.” This is a drastic change to the system of testing organized by Massachusetts.

This change has been driven by the Common Core State Standards and is being tested by the PARCC Consortium, which is currently a group of 11 states and the District of Columbia; this includes Massachusetts.

While its residence at FHS is not guaranteed, the new online PARCC test may yield promising results, but will take time for adjustment