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Topic: [ncsm-members] Colorado teachers demand state drop PARCC tests
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,815
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Colorado teachers demand state drop PARCC tests
Posted: Apr 15, 2014 3:28 PM
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From Chalkbeat [Colorado], Tuesday, April 15, 2014. See
http://co.chalkbeat.org/2014/04/15/colorado-teachers-demand-state-to-drop-parcc-tests/
- information from EDDRA2 listserve, Tuesday, April 15, 2014,
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Colorado teachers demand state drop PARCC tests

By Nicholas Garcia

A majority of delegates at an annual meeting of the Colorado
Education Association approved a resolution "demanding the state's
withdrawal from the PARCC assessment, and to call for a moratorium on
high stakes standardized testing," according to a statement from the
statewide teachers union.

The resolution, which charges CEA to join coalitions that oppose
high-stakes testing, was passed April 12 during the union's annual
Delegate Assembly. More than 500 union members - including current
teachers, retirees and bus drivers from across the state - attended
the weekend meeting, which sets the union's policy agenda for the
year.

The conference is not usually opened to media. Chalkbeat Colorado
first learned of the resolution from social media updates from
delegates.

The delegate vote comes two months after a CEA survey found its
members believe there is too much testing and not enough
instructional time. The vote also follows a similar resolution passed
by the State Board of Education asking the Colorado General Assembly
to allow the education department here to develop its own
standardized assessments instead of using the multi-state PARCC tests.

Colorado students are expected to begin taking the PARCC - short for
Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Career -
tests next spring. Some 400 Colorado schools just completed a trial
run of the exams.

The aim of the PARCC tests is to measure student proficiency and
academic growth, or how much a student learns year-over-year compared
to their peers, against the Colorado Academic Standards, which are
based on the national Common Core State Standards.
Supporters of the new assessments believe the results will allow
Colorado policy makers, school leaders, and parents to compare
student successes here with those in other states participating in
the PARCC coalition.

The statement from CEA concludes:

Teachers are not 'anti-testing'; in fact, teachers invented testing
to examine student growth and improve classroom instruction. However,
educators cannot passively sit on the sidelines and watch a
corporate-driven testing agenda strangle the quality and rigor of a
public school education they've worked so hard to deliver to students
over their careers. We will work collaboratively with other concerned
groups to determine standardized testing's proper role in our schools
that supports all students in a positive, meaningful way.

Because Colorado's involvement in the PARCC group is tied to state
statute, it seems unlikely any action will be taken this year. The
General Assembly must adjourn by May 7.

Some states that have previously pulled out of the PARCC exams
include Florida and Indiana. States still participating include New
Mexico and Massachusetts.
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