Teach Plus Statement on Commissioner Chester’s Recommendations on the PARCC/MCAS Decision

Teach Plus Statement on Commissioner Chester’s Recommendations on the PARCC/MCAS Decision

Teach Plus Massachusetts, a non-profit that supports teacher leadership, released the following statement in response to today’s recommendation by Commissioner Mitchell Chester regarding the PARCC/MCAS decision …

“Teach Plus supports Commissioner Chester’s recommendation that Massachusetts offer an online assessment incorporating PARCC content that measures the critical thinking and problem-solving required for success in college and career.  Teach Plus agrees with the Commissioner that ‘MCAS has reached a point of diminishing returns’ and ‘PARCC is a substantial advancement over our current MCAS test.’ Teachers we work with across the state emphatically believe that we need an assessment that inspires excellent instruction, and that PARCC is that test. For PARCC, the only test prep is great teaching.

‘It’s clear to me that passing MCAS does not guarantee college or career success, and the new PARCC test is the best tool to assess my students’ college and career readiness,’ said Teach Plus Policy Fellow and Boston Public Schools teacher Kalimah Rahim.

This month, a group of 17 teachers from across the Commonwealth published an op-ed stating,

As teachers, the choice for us is clear:  the PARCC assessment makes good sense for students in Massachusetts.

The PARCC assessment is the only option that demands phenomenal teaching right now, and that is what students in Massachusetts deserve.

Teachers have spent years aligning their instruction to the rigorous expectations of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the PARCC assessment.  Teach Plus asks the Board to offer predictability to educators and ensure that education funds are not siphoned into unnecessary test-creation by building the test on PARCC and continuing to use PARCC’s technical platform for test administration.

Massachusetts controls its own destiny as a member of the PARCC Consortium.  Teach Plus supports the Commissioner’s recommendation that Massachusetts maintain its membership in the PARCC Consortium and ensure comparability with other states.  As a member of PARCC, Massachusetts will continue to lead future development and take advantage of the many valuable educator resources available through PARCC.