A teacher exposes the unfair levels of difficulty of the PARCC test
Copied in below is the original blog post from the Outrage on the Page blog written by an anonymous teacher who offers a detailed and critical analysis of three specific questions on the recent PARCC 4th grade language arts test.
Several advocates, including Diane Ravitch and PAA co-founder Leonie Haimson, linked to this post on social media. Diane’s post was hacked and removed; Leonie’s tweets were removed by Twitter after pressure from test publisher Pearson.
Due to legal threats from PARCC/Pearson, the reading prompts were removed from the original blog post but dozens of public education advocates have reposted the original with the prompts included so that people can see for themselves what 4th graders saw on their test. Most legal experts who have weighed in on the issue say that this does not rise to the level of copyright infringement, and that the “fair use” laws actually allow limited used of copyrighted materials for, among other things, criticism and research.
There should be no secrecy with any tests our children take, especially when the results are given such heavy weight and when there are ongoing legitimate questions about the quality and appropriateness of the tests.
The PARCC test is developmentally inappropriate
In order to discuss the claim that the PARCC test is “developmentally inappropriate,” examine three of the most recent PARCC 4th grade items.
A book leveling system, designed by Fountas and Pinnell, was made “more rigorous” in order to match the Common Core State Standards. These newly updated benchmarks state that 4th Graders should be reading at a Level S by the end of the year in order to be considered reading “on grade level.” [Celia’s note: I do not endorse leveling books or readers, nor do I think it appropriate that all 9 year olds should be reading a Level S book to be thought of as making good progress.]
The PARCC, which is supposedly a test of the Common Core State Standards, appears to have taken