PARCC controversy top of mind at convention

PARCC protest_155079

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Thousands of students started taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), but some Rhode Island parents want the ability to opt their children out of taking the controversial test.

The controversy continues as Governor Gina Raimondo searches for a new education commissioner.

Eyewitness News asked how important it is to find someone who stands by the PARCC exam.

During the New England Education convention in Providence, parents and home schooled students met with community based groups to expand their resources.

Dr. Sandra Stotsky listened to their concerns about education and standardized tests, including the PARCC exam.

“We need to figure out what are the alternatives for parents to find out the exact number of students being opted out at every grade level in every school,” said Stotsky.

Dr. Stotsky served as the deputy commissioner for academic affairs and planning in Massachusetts through most of the 1990s.

She told Eyewitness News that she is not opposed to standardized tests but has concerns about the core standards and PARCC.

“If the tests are based on inferior standards that have not been validated it doesn’t say much for the quality of the tests.”

These concerns exist all while Governor Raimondo searches for a new education commissioner.

The Governor said it is important to find someone who stands by the PARCC exam but even more so is having high quality teachers.

“As a mom I have two kids in public schools. It does feel like there is a little too much testing at the moment so I think we have to figure out the right level but it’s a package. It’s the right curriculum. It’s good teachers and then it’s the right level of testing because we need to know how are the kids doing and where they need help so we can help them get better,” expressed Governor Raimondo.

Former Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist previously told Eyewitness News that the PARCC exam aligns with the common core standards and is designed for students to apply what they’re learning

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