This month Rhode Island students will again be subjected to the PARCC testing regime. Here are some tools used by others to resist and refuse the testing regime.
Out in Chicago, the Caucus of Rank and File Educators has created a treasure trove of anti-testing materials we want to share with parents and students who in turn can share it with peers. This is certain to annoy people like Andy Moffit, the charter school champ and husband of Gina Raimondo, Edward Achorn, the Providence Journal editor whose wife is a charter school proponent, and a slew of others who make a career out of advocating for the privatization of our public schools.
Saying no to PARCC is a pro-union, pro-child, pro-teacher act that would make the rich and powerful look bad.
It is worthwhile to repeat what was said by the RI ACLU in November 2015 regarding the previous school year’s test results: Though not surprising, the test results released this week show that using PARCC as a graduation requirement would have barred the vast majority of Rhode Island students from receiving a diploma. Worse, and just like the NECAP, it would have disproportionately affected students of color, students with disabilities, and ESL students in a devastating manner.
In a statement regarding this year’s testing the ACLU said:
The ACLU of RI does not oppose the implementation of PARCC testing per se. We recognize that standardized assessments can, if prepared and used properly, provide information to school districts and to students that can help target appropriate support services. However, we strongly oppose the use of PARCC, or any other standardized written test, as a high school graduation requirement or for any other punitive purpose, such as grading students. This high-stakes testing has a clear discriminatory impact on students of color, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. Further, students’ grades or graduation prospects should not be based on flawed standardized tools that cannot take into account an individual student’s actual work in school. They should serve as a guide, not punishment. We are currently examining the policies of each school district to find out whether they plan to use the test for such purposes.
The ACLU does not take a position on refusal to take the test but, “it is critical that schools make clear to parents whether there are any potential adverse consequences that flow from taking the test.”