W6PSPO & Friends Support of OSSE PARCC Waiver Request

Acting Superintendent Young, 

We (parents, educators and community members) strongly support the DC Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE)’s request for a systemwide PARCC reading and math assessment waiver this spring 2021, and we agree with the request to suspend the calculating of new STAR ratings for SY 2020/2021.

Between February 12 and February 24, 2021, 1,225 parents, educators and community members across DC Public Schools and DC public charter schools signed on to a petition to cancel the PARCC assessment in spring, 2021. DC community members agreed “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 would 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.

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 support this waiver request.

Please find attached the signatories and their comments.

Sandra Moscoso and Suzanne Wells 

on behalf of The Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization (W6PSPO) and the attached signatories

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