The preliminary results from last school year’s PARCC math and language arts examinations are in and things don’t look good for the common core. According to this preliminary data, only 35-40% of elementary and middle school students who took the online test passed.
By PARCC standards, students must meet or exceed expectations set from the common core. In an attempt to offset these poor results, the Ohio Department of Education has proposed aligning PARCC scores with the previous scale used for the Ohio Achievement Tests. This would mean that students who “approached expectations” would be considered proficient, thus passing the exam. Still, under this alternative scoring system, only 65-70% of Ohio’s students would pass.
With the release of these poor results, we see once again how wrong PARCC, and the common core, are for our children. These tests were time consuming, the standards unreasonable, and the rollout was riddled with technical problems. Instead of getting a true education, our students were burdened with the stresses of difficult standards and extended testing.
Considering all of the challenges PARCC and the common core have created for our students, we can see how necessary House Bill 7, safe harbor for students, truly is. Without HB 7, up to 65% of our students would be vulnerable because of a test that just wasn’t ready for prime time. Safe Harbor is shielding our children from these poor results and allowing them to move forward with their education.
Since the passage of the state budget, PARCC testing has been effectively banned in Ohio. This year, students will transition to exams by the American Institute for Research (AIR). These new AIR tests are far less time consuming and have already been used in Ohio to test science and social studies comprehension.
Even with safe harbor and the end of PARCC testing in Ohio, there is much more work to be done to eliminate common core. It is important that our children have access to the best education and, as we have clearly seen, common core does not offer that. As we continue to grapple with the education Ohio’s students receive, we must keep the best interests of our children at the forefront and ensure that they have a bright future ahead of them.
Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at tinyurl.com/buchyoctober2015