Literacy Expert to Obama on PARCC Test: Too Hard, Too Confusing, or Absurd?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Rebecca Steinitz is a literary consultant, writer, and editor in Massachusetts. She has a Ph. D. In English, coaches in urban districts, and has a daughter in seventh grade.

She wrote a letter to President Obama about the PARCC Tests, which her daughter must take, but the President’s will not.

Her daughter has always done well in school, but the PARCC test was a trial.

Here is a typical question:

“You have learned about electricity by reading two articles, “Energy Story” and “Conducting Solutions,” and viewing a video clip titled “Hands-On Science with Squishy Circuits.”In an essay, compare the purpose of the three sources. Then analyze how each source uses explanations, demonstrations, or descriptions of experiments to help accomplish its purpose. Be sure to discuss important differences and similarities between the information gained from the video and the information provided in the articles. Support your response with evidence from each…

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