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Response to Parcc


      In American Lit class a few months ago we read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, one of the great American Novels and staples of literary success. Mark Twain the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer once said “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education”. Not that school does entirely interfere, it gives you an in depth course into being social, a rounded education that serves as a platform for higher education if you aren’t decided or determined yet on your dream career, and serves as the “glory years” for countless amounts of jocks. Not that I haven't said this before but I absolutely hate, arbor, scorn, loathe tests these days, because even if these tests are labeled as “standardized” they are (seen in Parcc testing) randomized by a shuffle algorithm that mimics the fisher-Yates randomized, but not too random solution which just leads to convoluted data that can’t be compared to the gross yield- to the point where the average teacher can’t even benefit directly from them other than the check they received for every student participating in this mandatory or publicly shamed if you don’t take them tests pushed on by corporate CEO lobbying government officials for a “sweetheart deal” that’s beneficial for both parties.

     So our school buys so many of these terrible chrome books for these awfully written, not tested in a focus group nor fully approved by an impartial school board, ambiguous, unfair, time sucking, meaningless tests taking away time and resources that can be better spent on actual education not data mining. When does it stop? When do we realize that our way of determining a student's proficiency by choosing the correct answer out of bubbles a through each answer dependent on the last without any logic- from all the answers being correct depending on one’s pov, so we depend on the process of elimination with these ambiguous problems.

      Sat’s Act’s deciding our future school which will determine our future income which no doubt determine our overall happiness in life. So we study hard on the test’s design rather than the actual content itself, and this has been the system for years. We always compare the United States inferior education system to that of European countries, and it’s because they actually prepare you for the real world without tests, but on a resume, on a CV, on a portfolio of your past work to prove your knowledge and experience in that subject which can be later used to apply for these real world jobs who want qualified people who know exactly how to execute their job, because I guarantee you that no good job in it’s interview process will ask you what you scored on your test grades to get you into that dream school that landed you the interview to being with, they want to know what your last project was. Good jobs need good employees, not good test takers.

      Your counter argument may be Asian schools have higher performing kids, and they take more intense high risk tests then we do, but the stress levels experienced by those kids has long lasting repercussions on them as adults making health wise.

     Speaking with Val Flores a member of the state board of education, the people who decide if DSA is a blue school or not before PARCC testing initiated had openly said that they weren’t going to penalize any school for any opt outs of this experimental test. She even guaranteed that our school would not lose the blue rating. So this veil shall we call it “threat” that me taking up my voluntary right to make better use of this wasted time on PARCC would hurt the school and in that shame was forced indirectly from teachers comments in the classroom as well as directly when my parents were required to be present at the signing of the form and sternly warned.

     You want to know what I did during those first days of PARCC testing I made huge strides in my game’s AI path-finding and shader optimization to polish the game to a state where I could release it commercially on Steam through Greenlight (one of the worlds largest and most respected distribution platforms of video games) marking the first major release as my own company which when applying for a job or college looks tons better than a zero on a test that doesn’t matter. In fact, this game of mine had landed me an internship at Serenity Forge, a Game Studio in Boulder which I had my first day of work during the second day, so tell me am I such a terrible person for opting out of the Parcc test, because I feel like I've gotten more done in this free time from the test than I have in the whole entire year. On the Parcc hub webpage it states “The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers.” Or we could just use the time and resources spent on the school and student's behalf’s to actually learn and prepare ourselves for college and our own careers?

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