Level the PARCC field

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Martha J. Lappe, Bal­ti­more

While I un­der­stand the ex­cite­ment that the Howard and Car­roll County school sys­tems have with re­gards to their PARCC scores (“State re­leases district-level PARCC scores for Mary­land stu­dents,” Sept. 27), at least 50 per­cent of their stu­dents did not pass the as­sess­ment. What’s so dis­turb­ing is the Mary­land State Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion stated that last year’s scores were just a base­line and this year’s scores would pro­vide more ac­cu­rate data. As a teacher in Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools, I ob­serve on a daily ba­sis how hard our fac­ulty works to pre­pare the stu­dents for the exam as well as other life skills, yet 30 per­cent to 35 per­cent of our stu­dents passed the exam.

Which brings me to the real is­sue ex­ist­ing in Mary­land, and that is the racial dis­par­ity be­tween the “have” and “have-nots.” It is no se­cret that Howard and Car­roll County schools serve a pre­dom­i­nantly white and ad­van­taged pop­u­la­tion. So what is the so­lu­tion? Re­quire the eco­nom­i­cally ad­van­taged stu­dents to take the PARCC As­sess­ment and al­low the teach­ers of the dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties the teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to bring their stu­dents up to their as­signed aca­demic grade level. Once the stu­dent has mas­tered their grade, only then would they be el­i­gi­ble to take the PARCC As­sess­ment.

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