HCST Supt. Frank Gargiulo: PARCC testing ‘profiles the poor [school] districts’

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Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent of Schools Frank Gargiulo sat down with Hudson County View last night to discuss his thoughts on the controversial PARCC test, voicing his dissatisfaction with the test since it  “profiles” poor school districts, as well as the way the test scores are used to make rankings.

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PARCC, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is a test administered on a computer to measure the skills of students K-12 in math and language arts/literacy.

Additionally, Parents have the option of opting their child out of PARCC testing.

“The first thing, when I think about the PARCC testing, is the amount of time it’s going to consume in a teacher’s, a kid’s life,” Gargiulo told Hudson County View.

“The second piece of it is how it’s used. All standardized testing, if it’s used as a method to help kids: I’m all for it. The problem with that type of testing is it’s used to rank states, to rank schools, to rank counties, to rank districts and the cities always get the last part of that.”

Later, Gargiulo said that PARCC testing, like other standardized testing, favors wealthy districts – going as far as to say “it profiles the poor [school] districts.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for reporting on this important topic, John Heinis. I agree with Supt. Gargiulo. Perhaps if municipalites like WNY and Jersey City did not offer tax abatements which pay no school taxes, those towns would have a higher percentage of parents and other adults who feel vested with a stake in the educational outcomes of their towns’ youth.

  2. PARCC process assumes that all children are equal in computer skills, since the whole test is taken online. In fact, most students from poorer districts have either no computer or outdated computers at home.

    These reduced computer skills/experiences will certainly have an impact in overall performance. When poorer districts take these tests results (instead of punitive measures) should be used to help calculate a revised confidence interval. Extended time allowed or adjustments to curve of results could also help even the playing field.

    However, opting out, without a firm ruling from the NJDOE in advance, could be unsafe for student academic records. I did not read that our NJDOE has yet approved opt outs.

    Carol Lester
    Former VP Jersey City Board of Education

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