Tennessee Education Association: Put the Brakes on PARCC

TEA groups shot and headshots on June 12, 2013. Photos by Donn Jones Photography.
Gera Summerford

The Tennessee Education Association issued a statement today saying the state should “put the brakes” on using the PARCC assessment.

“TEA believes Tennessee needs to reconsider the use of the PARCC assessment,” said Gera Summerford, TEA president and Sevier County math teacher. “First and foremost, we object to our students being set up to fail. Any assessments aligned with the Common Core standards should ensure no harm is done to Tennessee students, schools or educators.Though PARCC supporters speak of an apples-to-apples comparison of student achievement, Tennessee students will be measured against states that invest thousands of dollars more per pupil.”

They expressed support the use of the Common Core State Standards themselves.

“TEA supports the more rigorous standards that are included in Common Core, but the implementation must provide adequate time and resources to be effective. Tennessee teacher involvement in standards development and implementation is critical to ensure the standards are developmentally appropriate for all students,” added Summerford.

“While thousands of teachers and administrators have received training, more support and resources are needed,” the TEA president said. “Many school districts lack the necessary technology for student access to the PARCC.”

“Teachers do not oppose testing and accountability. Teachers do oppose an over-reliance on summative standardized test results above all other indicators of student learning, particularly on a test that has not been properly vetted,” emphasized Summerford.