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Tewksbury School Committee Votes to Replace MCAS With PARCC

The decision came by a split vote of 3-2 at a Wednesday night meeting.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Tewksbury students will still be taking a standardized test in the 2014-15 school year. It will just be a different one than in past years.

During a Wednesday night School Committee meeting, the board voted by a 3-2 margin to replace the MCAS test with the PARCC exam.

Superintendent of Schools John O'Connor recommended the switch, and said it was a matter of being ahead of the game when it comes to the switch.

"If we make the switch now, because it is a new test the state will hold us harmless if there is a decline in scores," O'Connor told Patch, who said a decline in scores is anticipated with a new test. "If they’re going to hold us harmless for a potential decline, why not take it now instead of waiting a year when it would impact our overall rating?"

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education set an early decision deadline of June 30 at 12 p.m. for districts to decide whether to administer the MCAS or PARCC. The final day to decide, pending availability of funding, is October 1.

PARCC tests will be administered to Tewksbury third through eighth graders through paper testing, while high school students will take a computer version.

What is your opinion on the PARCC vote? Do you agree with the switch to PARCC, or should the school have stayed with MCAS? Let us know in the comments section below.
Bob June 20, 2014 at 01:50 PM
I do Rob and the whole do it because others are going to do it mentality! Let's not upset the apple cart and make the best decision for our kids and community!
doucettes1 June 20, 2014 at 06:26 PM
I would have liked to see more information on the PARCC test and how it differs from the MCAS; what are the benefits and drawbacks? Perhaps the writer could have given a brief analysis so we could made an informed decision ourselves. I don't agree that we should move forward for the reasons the superintendent sited.
Ruth Chou June 20, 2014 at 06:56 PM
The Friday June 20, 2014 issue of "Cambridge Day" posted an article titled "City Council speaks up about PARCC, school test sparking concern statewide" go to the link below. There you will find a table comparing PARCC with MCAS. http://www.cambridgeday.com/2014/05/07/city-council-speaks-up-about-parcc-school-test-sparking-concern-statewide/
Bill Gilman June 20, 2014 at 08:20 PM
A little added info on the discussion at the School Committee meeting Wednesday night. http://www.yourtewksburytoday.com/2014/06/19/42651/tewksbury-schools-to-adopt-common-core-testing-in-2015
Robert L Homeyer June 21, 2014 at 07:10 AM
We have had a lot of discussion on the topic of Common Core. We held a forum on the topic at the Tewksbury Country Club earlier this year which was very well attended. Massachusetts has always held the highest standards for educational practices. While not perfect it is still better than the rest of the country. The federal government wants us all to be equal. The Department of Education wants the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be on par with Alabama. The Tewksbury Republican Town Committee has taken exception to this philosophy and is proposing a Warrant for the fall Town Meeting. We are currently collecting the necessary signatures to place it on the Town Meeting agenda. We feel the voters of Tewksbury should have a say in the future of their children's education. Dumbing down Massachusetts is not in our best interests. Let the people of Tewksbury speak. I commend Krissy & Lisa for voting against this. It is a hot topic. When was the last time we saw a split decision on any of the Tewksbury Boards? As a Library Trustee I can tell you it is not that common at all. After discussion and amendments everyone is normally on the same page. This should get interesting quickly. If you want more information or want to get involved please speak to Ruth Chou who is championing this topic. Thanks,

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