This is one of the most ridiculous phenomena in our culture today.... The U.S. is falling way behind other countries in education. We used to lead the world. The countries that excel today don't coddle their children about testing. We didn't used to either. Seems like a pretty strong relationship between doing well and testing for knowledge, versus falling behind and some misguided anxiety over school testing.
You protect your kids by keeping them from walking into traffic, otherwise kids need to toughen up to the challenges of the real world.
My husband I were listening to your story today. We were shocked to hear parents were shielding their children from this test. So what if they do not do well at first? How is a child to learn if they do not fail or not do well? All successful people have failures first in their life before they became successful. This test would prepare them for the unexpected. Also prepare them for college.
As a product of the Iowa public school system I have to ask, "What's the big deal?" From first grade through my last year in high school we took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and I have no complaints about it. It was kind of fun, actually, to be able to guage the mass of knowledge I'd obtained over the years; it also made taking the SAT almost anti-climatic. If, as another commenter stated, students are required to take more than one test suite then I'll stand with them in annoyance but for everyone else I say, "Suck it up."
The problem isn't testing -- it's this test, as well as too much time spent testing. The PARCC in particular is a substandard corporate product that we're all paying millions for, even though it hasn't been verified. Every taxpayer should be outraged that their money is being wasted this way.
I was disappointed by the coverage of this issue. This is not about protecting kids from tests. This is a movement to say enough is enough in terms of excessive standardized testing. Our kids are being guinea pigs while the powers that be try to sort out what tests to use and how to use them. For example, this spring, my son's school in Chicago will be administering PARCC in March *and* May on top of the third installment of the NWEA tests. PARCC counts for nothing this year. NWEA is high stakes.
PARCC is also poorly designed. This is not about it being too hard. Its design impedes a child's ability to demonstrate proficiency. I tried the third grade reading practice test and wanted to claw my eyes out. Why do we do this to our kids?
When did tests become optional at the time of their administration? These are public schools supported by the taxes of a generally poor and struggling population. Schools must justify their expense to these people. Tests are a reliable way to do that, because tests overcome the expensive, professional hype jobs school districts and teachers' unions present about their work, or lack thereof (believe it or not, it is possible to pass years and years 'teaching' on flattery and easy work) involving a lot of coloring, and give us real data. Yes, they make kids nervous. So will very many challenges in life, this is an opportunity to build up strength in that area in a safer situation than a job, or when people's lives might depend on smart decisions courageously taken. There are no consequences to their scores--in most instances, their scores are not even attached to their names. Bottom line, those parents so concerned the questions are too hard for their child need to pay for their education themselves. If your kid gets a free ride, they need to take the hard questions with the easy ones. They'll be better off for it. This movement that kids have to feel good all the time is so destructive to our national future. No job worth the pay is ever like that.