Reasons for HWRSD School Committee to choose MCAS over PARCC

Given that:

  • there is no discernible educational benefit to children for moving from MCAS to PARCC
  • the concept of “inevitability” is not born out (evidenced by multiple states backing out of Common Core)
  • Massachusetts is already ahead of most of the country in terms of educational standards
  • Pearson who administers the PARCC test is now under investigation [1][2]
  • there are real questions about the sale of student data [3]
  • Mitchell Chester, head of DESE, is now under investigation for conflict of interest [4]
  • the Massachusetts legislature has designated a study about the cost of the “Cost-Benefit Analysis for PARCC” won’t be concluded until the end of the summer
  • multiple Massachusetts school districts have decided to delay implementation of PARCC for at least this year (Cambridge for example) [6]

I would recommend that the school committee vote to stay with MCAS.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/06/05/judge-puts-hold-on-common-core-contract-to-pearson/
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/education/new-york-attorney-general-is-investigating-pearson-education.html?_r=0
[3] http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/north/2014/05/07/some-growing-uneasy-over-release-student-data/gJTrtB2WNjqwD53e5Wc5hK/story.html
[4] http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/04/12/peabody-questions-education-commissioner-ties-parcc/O9GiKT9CbenTSdV9RT7TKL/story.html
[5] https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H4000/Amendment/House/16/OriginalText
[6] http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20140604/NEWS/140608758

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