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Geneva’s transition into PARCC has not been as smooth as hoped

Maddy Heine, Staff Writer

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In early March at GHS, the freshman class took the PARCC test. Over the course of three days there were two English tests given and one algebra test. This has been the first year the test has been administered and the GHS community has not necessarily had as smooth as of a transition as anticipated.

Leading up to the dates of the PARCC test there had been much confusion within the freshman class as to whether the PARCC tests would be put on transcripts and why they were being taken. Several rumors had been floating around that claimed the test was essentially useless to students.  As a result, many freshmen chose to blow off the test by writing about their dislike for PARCC or by simply not filling it out. When students did this they were under the impression that the test results would not appear on their transcripts. There is still confusion as to whether the results will be on students’ transcripts, but if officials decide that they will be, there is no doubt that many students will regret not taking the test more seriously.

The rebellion against PARCC was not limited to students in Geneva, but included several parents as well. Many parents within Geneva disagreed with PARCC being administered and encouraged their children either to opt out of the test or not take it seriously. This only added to the freshmen’s confusion surrounding PARCC testing.

When the time came for students to actually take the test, another problem came to light. There was an excessive amount of time allotted for each test; every test had a time frame ranging from one to two hours. The majority of students finished the test in well under half the time given, and the ones who chose to rebel finished in even less time. After finishing the tests, students went down to the cafeteria where they could attempt to work on homework, but with the loud, distracting environment most students chose to talk with their friends. Due to the generous amount of time given for each test, students grew extremely bored while sitting in the cafeteria for almost two hours.

Despite the flaws surrounding PARCC, the tests themselves were arguably more bearable than the ISATS, which PARCC has replaced. The English test consisted of a few stories and after each one there would be around 10 questions that would ask the student a question based on comprehension of the story, and then ask them to back their answer up in the second part of the question. Before moving on to the next story, students were given an essay prompt that triggered critical thinking about the story they had just read. To most students this format is preferable to the ISATS which had more stories to read and a lot more questions. The math portion also had a reduced amount of questions compared to the ISATS, however most students found the test more difficult and much more time consuming than the English test.

Once the confusion regarding PARCC testing clears and the flaws are adjusted, hopefully PARCC will become less of a controversy within Geneva. However, before it does parents and students need to be more informed on why PARCC is being taken, know how it will affect students, and the time given for each test needs to be adjusted. Once those things happen,  Geneva parents and students can begin accepting PARCC and working to make it more of a beneficial experience for Geneva students.

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Geneva’s transition into PARCC has not been as smooth as hoped