She’s not the only one.

PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The test is Common Core-aligned, which, as you know, means trouble. Millions of students across the nation will be taking the test this spring.

PARCC has posted some practice tests online.

Here is one of the problems for sixth graders:




The answer is on page 4 here and is reproduced at the bottom of this post. But before you look at the solution, try to solve the problem yourself.

When you’re done with that, watch these three high school girls (all in honors classes) attempt to answer the question during the first several minutes of this video:


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Teacher Peter Greene took one of PARCC’s practice tests. Here is his conclusion:

I have put this off for a long time because I knew it would give me a rage headache, and I was not wrong. How anybody can claim that the results from a test like this would give us a clear, nuanced picture of student reading skills is beyond my comprehension. Unnecessarily complicated, heavily favoring students who have prior background knowledge, and absolutely demanding that test prep be done with students, this is everything one could want in an inauthentic assessment that provides those of us in the classroom with little or no actual useful data about our students.

If this test came as part of a packaged bunch of materials for my classroom, it would go in the Big Circular File of publishers materials that I never, ever use because they are mularkey. What a bunch of junk. If you have stuck it out with me here, God bless you. I don’t recommend that you give yourself the full PARCC sample treatment, but I heartily recommend it to every person who declares that these are wonderful tests that will help revolutionize education. Good luck to them as well.

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Here is the solution to the problem posted above:

parcc solution

It isn’t reasonable to expect 12-year olds, many of whom have barely mastered multiplication, to understand that they were supposed to come up with a “modeling process” to project the number of yellow golf balls sold in 2014 based on sales in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Especially since, as the three high school girls in the Youtube video noted, the growth in sales in 2011-2013 is not constant. (Sales decelerated in 2013.)

It’s no surprise that students and others are complaining that PARCC is confusing: