PARCC: Have they gone too far?


Photo Credit: Nicole Settlow

A student types away at her computer while researching the PARCC.

by Nicole Settlow, Staff Writer

Glen Rock High School has officially finished its PARCC testing for 2017.

PARCC is an online standardized exam that tests students on knowledge they have reputedly learned in their present grade they are in. In New Jersey, PARCC takes the place of the HSPA , which was the former standardized test for New Jersey high schools. A major difference is that the HSPA was paper-based.

On top of students having to worry about SATs, ACTs, and the normal homework and tests, there is now another thing to worry about, passing PARCC. In past years, state exams were just a way to see what students had learned, but for the class of 2020 and on, PARCC is now a graduation requirement. Students don’t have to pass every year, but they do in fact have to pass at least one.

I think it’s one thing to make students sit through a long two hour test but to make it count is insane. There used to be an option to opt out which meant students did not have to take the test, but because it now counts, there is no opting out and everyone is taking it.

I am a freshman here at school, meaning that, for me, these tests do matter. Students walk into the test, trying to prepare for whatever questions come at their way, but they stop and stare, and realize, they don’t know how to answer any of these questions. How are students supposed to pass when they don’t understand the question?

Along with questions making zero sense, there is a a lot of pressure on students to pass. Not passing makes you look bad, your teachers look bad, and overall the school district bad.

PARCC also takes away from valuable learning time, why waste the time taking a pointless test when you could be learning information you can actually use in your life. Students  only have each class for about an hour a day and because of the block schedule they drop each class once or twice a week, so they are already limited on time. People would think oh 2 hours, that’s nothing—but, PARCC is about 6-7 days for each grade, so that is a lot of time you are missing daily.

Overall, I don’t think PARCC should be a requirement for PARCC, and honestly I think it is even pointless to take PARCC. It is not fair to see how smart someone is based off of standardized testing because some people don’t test well and don’t do well under pressure.