For the Sake of Students, Cancel PARCC Testing

I brought my grand daughter to my studio and had her sit with her computer and pretend to be doing homework. She was not entertained and feeling a bit tired and bored. I tried to finish quickly before her patience ran out. Taken with my Canon 6D mark II and Canon 85mm.

After discussions with parents and teachers, school leaders and community members across the city, Ward 6 parents initiated this petition to cancel PARCC testing for this school year. Please consider signing this petition and sharing with your networks.

Sign the petition here.

To: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Acting Superintendent Shana Young (Office of the State Superintendent of Education), Chairman of the DC Council Phil Mendelson, and Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn

– Esta carta está disponible en español a continuación. –

We (parents, educators and community members) strongly disagree with the decision of the DC Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) to proceed with systemwide PARCC reading and math testing during the pandemic and ask that you direct OSSE to submit a waiver to the Department of Education for all statewide testing this spring.

As background: federal guidelines state that OSSE requires DCPS and DC charter schools to administer a standardized test, in DC these are PARCC tests, to students in grades 3–8 and high school students enrolled in certain courses. Although the U.S. Department of Education waived testing requirements in March 2020 following pandemic school closures, and may do so again, OSSE is moving ahead with PARCC testing for SY20-21. States such as NY, NJ, and MI have signaled they will request waivers from testing. DC should too.

*DC Needs To Prioritize Time for Social, Emotional and Academic Learning Over Time for Testing*

Students and educators have already lost too much learning time to disruptions caused by school closures and waves of quarantines, community and family illness, economic crisis, inadequate attention to digital equity needs, and social and mental health impacts. We should be investing every minute of in-person or remote learning into making up for lost time – not adding to the time deficit.

Testing takes precious resources away from learning and other supports for students when they need them most. Testing this spring will happen over an 8-week period, deploying educators and staff away from providing learning and support services to proctoring tests and preparing and managing test logistics now through May.

These high-stakes tests add stress to students already burdened by added, unprecedented pandemic-related stresses. We should instead be reducing stresses and supporting students’ social, emotional and mental health.

Test scores won’t be valid or available in time to help students now nor to plan for addressing learning loss this summer or next school year. Not only will tests be invalid due to variations in testing environments, mandated standardized testing does not provide educators the data needed to meet individual student learning needs in real time, which is what we need right now.

For the sake of students, we ask that you cancel systemwide testing this spring.

Sign the petition here.

Charles Allen
Anita Bonds
Mary Cheh
Janeese Lewis George
Vincent Gray
Christina Henderson
Kenyan McDuffie
Brianne Nadeau
Brooke Pinto
Elissa Silverman
Robert White Jr.
Trayon White Sr.

4 thoughts on “For the Sake of Students, Cancel PARCC Testing

  1. I believe testing should be administered. If the testing shows our school district is 50% behind the rest of the country in math and reading, it is a clear sign our school system has failed the children, parents, and the community and needs a new direction since the whole country has been dealing with the pandemic.

    Then administrators, teachers, and parents can work to correct the system and give the students an education they deserve. Parents owe it to their children!

    Hopefully, our district scores 50% higher than the rest of the country. Then teachers, parents, and students can hold their heads high and pass our success on to other schools to make the world a better place.

    1. 1000% agree Tim. We need to know what has happened to our children academically in the last year. Testing is the only way to know.


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