St. Landry PARCC testing concerns

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Controversy continues over opting out of PARCC tests.

Phase one of testing starts the third week of March.

St. Landry Testing Coordinator, Angela Cassimere, says she’s already received several phone calls from concerned parents.

“As of today we have received a couple of phone calls from parents. I would say about five who have not necessarily wanted to specifically opt out of the testing, but they’ve had a lot of questions about the PARCC Assessment,” said Cassimere.

Cassimere said many of the concerns stem from a lack of information.

“When we talk about the PARCC we are only speaking about the english language arts/ mathematics assessment. We still have the same assessments that we did have for science and social studies with our traditional Leap and I-Leap assessments,” said Cassimere.

St. Landry School Board President, Anthony Standberry, feels opting out should not be option.

He said any student who chooses to opt out will receive a zero which will lower their school’s score and in turn hurt the parish.

“You have businesses that watch this and to me it’s not good for our economic standards and it’s also not good for our children or our system,” said Standberry.

Standberry said he feels by letting students opt out, the state is degrading the public school system.

“If you put all of these mandates out there and then all of a sudden you give our children the option to opt out taking the test, it sounds like a ploy to destroy public education more than anything else,” said Standberry.

Park Vista Elementary Principal, Ulysse Joubert, said students should take the test so they don’t receive a zero, but after reviewing practice tests he said the questions are too complicated for students.

“The student look at you and say what does this mean? ok if they don’t understand the question then how in God’s name is it a valid test,” said Joubert.

Cassimere said the opt out forms should be available a couple of weeks prior to testing.

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