I was watching one of those design shows where teams are tasked with buying items at a flea market, reimagining them, and selling them for a profit. One of the teams picked out a hideous pair of chairs to rescue and resell. I was completely unable to see their potential until one of the designers began talking about his vision. All of a sudden, the chairs started to look a little less shabby. Perception depends on the lens through which you look.
It is with this in mind that I post my celebration for this weekend: a reimagining of the PARCC test.
What if the PARCC test results are used for good and not evil? What if the results from this test actually provide teachers real time feedback on individual students and groups of students that can have an immediate impact on instruction?
What if the PARCC test is effective enough to replace all of the other tests students are currently
spending time taking?
What if the PARCC test is better than our previous state test because of its focus on critical thinking skills rather than basic comprehension and memorization of literary terms?
What if the PARCC test is more engaging to students than other tests because its dynamic use of technology?
What if the PARCC test’s focus on growth proves to be more motivating to students who are only used to percentile rankings?
What if instead of sending students the message that the people who made the PARCC test are out to get them, we told students that this test is the first step in a move toward measuring things that really matter—like how deeply you think about what read and write?
This week, I am choosing to celebrate the possibilities of a test over which I have no control.