Mom and Teacher: We Should Keep PARCC

 Albuquerque Journal

Dawn Bilbrey writes  in support of PARCC in New Mexico, noting that this month’s release of PARCC results will inevitably usher in a “flurry of public debate” about whether to keep or scrap the assessments. As both a mother and a veteran teacher, Bilbrey deeply believes New Mexico “should stay the course” because she can speak directly “to the validity of what works best in my classroom and how the college-and-career ready standards accompanied by PARCC have helped my children achieve as learners.” Bilbrey values “having high-quality assessment results for my students to help prepare lessons and instructional practices,” and because she works hard to align her instruction to state standards and knows “the assessment will assess these measures,” she is “empowered to give [her] students relevant and useful instruction that will impact their future.” This doesn’t mean she’s “teaching to the test,” a statement which “always bothers” her because it “implies that I’m not capable of creating learning that is innovative and inspiring while still being relevant and timely.” Rather, having “a measure to monitor my instruction and student learning is vitally important to maintaining a learning environment that is both structured and sequenced to the grades above and below me.” Bilbrey concludes that “there is nothing significant to gain from uprooting our system, again,” and, “based on my nearly 20 years of experience, a new test won’t be that much different than what we have in place right now.” So, “let’s get back to the real work of improving instruction and supporting students” because “that’s where we should be spending time and energy.”

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