The computer interface was a split screen and the editing tools were unfamiliar. My child came home crying. She was distraught that she only completed one paragraph because it took her too long to edit.
She was angry with the computer testing. "Why can't we just do this on paper so I can show them what I know?"
The anger and frustration at the tool is abusive. Especially for little kids who are not prepared emotionally for the frustration. What are we doing to our kids?
My kid is not your lab rat.
- from a TN parent in Nashville, TN
This is a sample question from the PARCC website:
Did you figure out where the tab is for the other story you are supposed to "compare and contrast" to this one?
If you accidentally click the links at the top, could you navigate back to this question?
How is a COMPUTER PROGRAM going to grade a student's written essay???
So I did.
And I was frustrated. Immensely frustrated.
But then I realized that no one is going to care about my descriptions of my frustration with “the sample test questions in their intended environment.” But maybe someone will care about my daughter’s frustration. After all, she’s 9. She’s currently in third grade. She will be taking these tests a year from now. And she’s a good kid, she’s a strong student, and she is game to try new things.
So I asked her to try one of the sample questions. A few minutes in, when I got a sense of how frustrating the process was for her, I asked her permission to video her attempts to get the interface to work.
Click HERE to see the video of how it went for that Mom & child who had up-to-date technology and more patience than most.
It is a ridiculous waste of our tax money.
It is a ridiculous waste of our children's time.
This does not show how much a child has learned, it shows how computer literate the child is to figure out this confusing, frustrating format. Affluent children with a computers in their homes will have a clear advantage over children who do not. This will widen the achievement gap even more than it already is.
Legislators: If you vote against HB1129/SB1266 and its amendments to allow the TNDOE to give our children this expensive, ridiculous PARCC test, there will be a boatload of frustrated parents and teachers contacting you next year about getting rid of Common Core. And even though you will try to tell them that Common Core "is just standards," they know better. They won't believe you. They will remember you allowed it to happen and they will campaign against you in your next election. Education is a key issue to parents because our children mean more to us than anything else in this world.