Literacy Expert to Obama on PARCC Test: Too Hard, Too Confusing, or Absurd?

About TeachingWhat knowledge is important? And who gets to decide?

This post by Diane Ravitch is a good follow-up to my post called “Reality Strikes.” It also explains how the level of difficulty of text and questions on the PARCC test are outrageous and make no sense.

But, something else also occurred to me when reading this. Diane ends with, “These are not good tests of reading comprehension. They are traps and snares.” So what is her conclusion? Does she think that the tests need to be improved or does the icon of fighting education reformers think Common Core $tate $tandards and the high-stakes tests that are inextricably linked should be eradicated altogether?

I wonder why this position wasn’t made clear at the end of her post. Would love clarification. I hope she will continue to advocate for an end to both!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Rebecca Steinitz is a literary consultant, writer, and editor in Massachusetts. She has a Ph. D. In English, coaches in urban districts, and has a daughter in seventh grade.

She wrote a letter to President Obama about the PARCC Tests, which her daughter must take, but the President’s will not.

Her daughter has always done well in school, but the PARCC test was a trial.

Here is a typical question:

“You have learned about electricity by reading two articles, “Energy Story” and “Conducting Solutions,” and viewing a video clip titled “Hands-On Science with Squishy Circuits.”In an essay, compare the purpose of the three sources. Then analyze how each source uses explanations, demonstrations, or descriptions of experiments to help accomplish its purpose. Be sure to discuss important differences and similarities between the information gained from the video and the information provided in the articles. Support your response with evidence from each…

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