We’re tossing out bathwater and our babies’ futures, too

Farmington, New Mexico middle school teacher Elizabeth Long responds to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s recent decision to remove PARCC by pointing out it will “need to be replaced by something else,” but that whatever is chosen “will likely not be as effective.” Long notes that: “Over the years, many teachers have familiarized themselves with the rigor and expectations of PARCC, which are directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)… By design, it deeply measures students’ ability levels – not rote memorization of facts. PARCC gauges students’ ability to apply what they have learned.” As a result, PARCC “has pushed teachers, students and administrators toward higher rigor and expectations.” While some may “criticize PARCC for being ‘too hard’ or ‘rigorous,’” the fact is “we need New Mexico students to compete at a national level – and be ready for their future colleges and careers. Lowering expectations will get us nowhere.” Long, like other teachers, understands and defends the importance of assessments. It’s really time to stop perpetuating the myth that teachers hate high standards.

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