This year has been a tumultuous one for educators, parents and students who are embarking on the new PARCC Assessment. Parents are finally understanding the angst that educators have been feeling for a while now, when it comes to standardized assessment and measuring student performance. The mass hysteria of testing has led our students and schools astray. Astronomical costs, including ancillary costs of professional development has caused our schools to become mini testing factories. Schools and children alike are feeling the push to achieve greatness through test scores, while such things as the love of learning is not fostered enough. We need a balance, somewhere in the middle where instructor and student performance is measured, but through monitoring and through the curriculum itself. Standardized assessments which hope to be aligned to individualized curriculum is not the answer. In business there are targets that a company must hit, there are no secrets as to what their mission is. Tests like the PARCC consistently change the target, they provide ambiguous guides left open to interpretation, whereas students and staff are left wondering if they are going to be truly successful. Why does this happen?
Companies such as Pearson(creators of the PARCC Assessment) do not wish to provide the target. If they did, they would have to provide guided and poignant materials to actually address the PARCC assessment. Parents have also been alienated as the new common core teaches traditional mathematics differently from the methodologies most parents were taught. In essence what must happen, is the redevelopment of trust between a teacher and a student. The element of trust where the teacher may do their job, and student performance is measured through standardized benchmarks would be the key to student success. Assessments such as PARCC confuse the learning process. In order to fix the problem we must stop moving the target and trust educators to educate our children.