Boston Herald Says No to PARCC

massachusetts-state-flagThe Boston Herald in today’s editorial calls on the state of Massachusetts to keep the MCAS in lieu of adopting PARCC.

Their editorial board writes:

About two-thirds of Ohio students who took the new Common Core tests were rated by their state as “proficient” in English and math while about one-third in Illinois and one-half in Massachusetts were rated that way, according to The New York Times.

Yet all three groups of students got the same actual numerical scores on the tests from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, part of the Common Core effort. If a “common” endeavor allows such varying descriptions of the exact same results, what good is it?

No further illustration of the undesirability of the Common Core should be needed. It ought to be rebuked next month when the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education decides whether to junk the familiar (and sound) MCAS tests in favor of the opaque PARCC process (about half of Massachusetts cities and towns already have adopted PARCC)…

…We have often called attention to the objectionable dumbing-down that the Common Core curriculum would mean here. So far Massachusetts students have maintained their position at the top of state rankings on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (which is given only to a sample of students) but that achievement surely would be in jeopardy if the Common Core gets firmly established. It doesn’t help that Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester has helped develop the PARCC tests.