Dear Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers:
Congratulations on the PARCC test reports finally coming out. It will be great for the kids to come back from the holidays to work on where they fell short last spring. Thanks for bringing it back up. Without your efforts, it would be very hard to compare our children to those in Washington D.C. or New Orleans… that is… unless we had the means to actually visit and take in the Culture.
One point for your consideration, please: That the reports were going to be IN COLOR was a major selling point of the PARCC Exam. Take a look at the attached sample report. The colors are dull and faded. It is almost like we cheaped out on ink. As long as we are reducing our children to two-dimensional depictions, couldn’t we use more vivid colors, if only to evoke the rich full spectrum of possibility that Life has to offer?
Thank you for your continued interest in the few PARCC states remaining. Perhaps we might compare our lowest-performing schools and work together to fix the underlying socio-economic problems exposed by standardized testing. The remnants of the PARCC structure would be a wonderful scaffolding to reverse the flow of information and effect innovation at the grass roots level. Besides, just by sampling the lowest-performing schools, we could extrapolate the issues nation-wide and empower further responsible and accountable local Control. You know, upon reflection, maybe we could cut back on the amount of testing and just do a statistical sampling. Nobody ever needed a road map where one inch equals one inch. You’d spend all of your time cartographing, lost in the details, and sort of miss out on the real-world beauty and adventure of the travel and interactions with People. Just saying.
That’s all. Well that, and your science is fundamentally flawed. If you would like, I could put together a team to show you how to use data more effectively. There is seemingly a conflict-of-interest bias that affects your results. Maybe in the beginning of April you could submit your findings for peer review. A continuing conversation.
Anyway, happy holidays to you and your whole PARCC team. There is no reason why with critical thinking and rigor, we can’t raise the nature and quality of your work up to our standards of excellence in the New Year.
Very truly yours,
Justin Escher Alpert
Livingston, New Jersey