Friday, June 6, 2014

MCAS or PARCC next spring

sorry for the break in blogging there; just got my computer back and didn't have a full charge
As you'll see from today's coverage, Worcester is in the company of just Boston and Springfield of having the possibility of not choosing either just PARCC or just MCAS for spring 2015; we can choose school-by-school.
No doubt a bit of the consideration in this will come down to individual school accountability levels: we have a number of schools that are fighting hard to rise a level, and a one year freeze may well not be something that they want to do. The other consideration is around next generation tests, which are either going to be the PARCC or going to be a changed MCAS; continuing with the current MCAS isn't something that the state is considering.
Note, incidentally, that the decision is budget neutral: our computer rental is the second year of a five year lease (for all computers in the district, which we need), and our broadband upgrades make it possible for us to do things like get a full class of Chromebooks online (something which we unfortunately cannot do now). Thus money doesn't play into this decision.
There is a time component--PARCC is a two part test, two parts of the spring--which may be part of the decision, as well.
At this point, the item--which was altered to simply request a recommendation from administration--rests with administration, who are taking the matter up with principals. Thus, while you can certainly weigh in with those of us on the Worcester School Committee, I'd recommend taking the item up with your principal at this point, should you have a view on this matter.

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