Amidst state and federal discussions on high-stakes testing and parent protests against the new Common Core assessments, Teach Plus surveyed over 1,000 teachers in Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Washington, DC, about PARCC. Focusing on the quality, structure, and alignment of the assessment, 79% of the respondents said they believe that PARCC is better than prior state tests.
- Teachers find clear alignment between PARCC and what they are teaching.
- While the majority believe PARCC measures skills needed to be college- and career-ready, teachers were mixed on whether the test was grade-appropriate or too challenging.
- Teachers find the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment strongly aligned to the key instructional shifts of the CCSS but may require knowledge students don’t yet have.
- Teachers find the math questions cognitively demanding and balanced among concepts, procedures and application, though they wanted to see additional questions that increase the assessment rigor.
“As a teacher, I want to make sure that I’m using a worthwhile test in my classroom,” Susan Volbrecht, an elementary school teacher in Chicago, IL, and one of the co-authors of the report, said in a press release. “While this project didn’t address the very real questions of technology and overtesting, it does highlight the fact that PARCC is a better test than many of us currently use with our students.”
Read the report, 1,000 Teachers Examine PARCC: Perspectives on the Quality of New Assessments, from Teach Plus.