Apparently Rhode Island Doesn’t Like PARCC’s ELA High School Assessment


Rhode Island just made one of the more convoluted decisions I’ve seen made related to a Common Core Assessments. Illinois said no PARCC for high school students, and are doing the SAT instead. Other states have made similar decisions if they didn’t dump PARCC or Smarter Balanced altogether.

Rhode Island they said 3rd – 9th graders still have to take PARCC. 10th and 11th graders will not have to take the PARCC ELA assessment, but everyone has to take the math.  10th and 11th graders have the option of taking the PSAT or SAT although it is not required.

The Providence Journal reports:

A decision by state Education Commissioner Ken Wagner will spare 10th graders in Rhode Island public schools from having to take the standardized English test known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

Students in grades 3 through 9 will still be required to take the PARCC.

But high school students will have to take the math PARCC test, typically Algebra I, at some point in high school, Wagner said in a conversation Saturday. (Some students take Algebra I after ninth grade.)

Wagner said the new rules reflect a widespread concern among parents and teachers that the state was over-testing its high school students, who have been taking standardized tests in grades 9 and 10 in addition to the college-readiness exams, known as SATs and PSATs.

It also recognizes that Governor Raimondo included money in her 2017 budget to provide students with free SATs and PSATs as a way to encourage more students to apply to college.

In the future, Wagner said that he would like to use a combination of the PARCC and a college-readiness test like the SAT as part of Rhode Island’s high school graduation requirements. But that calls for a deeper conversation with the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.

I’m not sure what makes the PARCC math assessment so glorious in the eyes of Commissioner Wagner because it isn’t. Also, how can he indicate he is listening to parental concerns about over-testing, and then turn around and say he wants to make a hybrid PARCC-college readiness test a requirement for high school graduation? Using PARCC in this way went over like a lead balloon in New Jersey. Does he really think parents will go for that?

He probably doesn’t care.