The Pointless Side of PARCC Testing

The Pointless Side of PARCC Testing

By Sarah Govis

I thought that after I was finished with middle school, I would finally be done with pointless standardized testing. I mean, I always knew that I would have to take the ACT at some point, but at least that counted for something — it would be a huge deciding factor when I applied to colleges.

But then the PARCC tests were introduced, a set of tests that was initially created in order to make sure all 50 states were testing for the same things instead of each state setting its own standard. I think it would work well if it was used to just replace the ISAT, but now only 12 of the original 48 states that signed up are taking the test.

With so few states even using the test, there’s no point to it. The test can’t be used to compare all 50 states if only 12 (and the District of Columbia) are participating in it.

Moreover, high school students really don’t need any more tests. We’re already being tested in every single class we take, whether it be physical education or science. Even electives that are supposed to be taken for fun involve testing. There’s no way around it.

The last thing students — juniors especially — need is more standardized testing. Already a huge part of going to college is being scored out of a 4.0 GPA and a 36 point ACT. We are also pushed to get the best grades we possibly can before colleges and universities start seeing our scores.

We also aren’t being prepared at all. I’ve never actually seen what the PARCC test looks like, but I’ve heard it looks nothing like any other test we’ve taken. How are we supposed to do well on a test that bears no resemblance to the ones we’re used to? Neither math nor English teachers are preparing us in any way because at this point in the year, finals are more important than a new standardized test.

The PARCC test shifted the date of the ACT, which probably had a huge effect on our scores. The ACT normally isn’t taken until the end of April, but this year it was taken at the beginning of March, which is nearly two months earlier than normal. All of the juniors before our class had a huge advantage over us because they had longer to prepare.

Many students are taking AP classes during the middle of the day when PARCC testing takes place. Students will only miss between two and four days of classes, but that amounts to a lot in the spring right before AP tests. AP tests can exempt you from expensive college classes later on — PARCC tests don’t do anything but interrupt the learning process.

At this point in my high school career, PARCC testing is the last thing I need. I need to focus on the parts of school that matter, not a test that affects how much funding our school receives.