In the next few days legislators are expected to decide the fate of PARCC testing in Tennessee, as the Haslam & Huffman PARCC/Common Core cram-down effort continues.
But a Major Development has been uncovered by RTP. Over the last couple of days, the Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) conducted a pilot test of PARCC. The result was disastrous. As you will see from the following emails, there was a near total meltdown of the test, with failed equipment, frustrated teachers, stressed out students and offering a preview of what awaits the rest of the state unless the legislature takes steps in the next few days to keep it from happening elsewhere.
In response to last month’s House vote to delay PARCC, MNPS superintendent Jesse “I’m-outta-here-just-as-soon-as-I-land-another-job” Register, bulled ahead and insisted Nashville schools initiate PARCC, reportedly bragging that MNPS would pay for PARCC itself if the legislature delayed it.
Well, Dr. Jesse, you couldn’t have been more right. You will pay for your stupid insistence on plowing ahead with a flawed testing program that both students and teachers hate.
These events could/should derail PARCC and its supporters such as Pearson (who developed and runs PARCC), Pearson lobbyist Chuck Cagle and the gang at SCORE. They are pulling out all the stops to try and water down the deal that GOP caucus conservatives struck with leadership. It was a deal that GOP leaders scrambled to cobble together after theMarch 13th revolt on the House floor sent shock waves through the GOP establishment.
It is inconceivable that after the complete PARCC disaster, legislators would approve any legislation allowing PARCC to be administered to Tennessee’s school children. Ever.
RTP has exclusive text exchanges between frustrated and outraged Metro Nashville teachers who earlier today tried to manage the complete disaster surrounding the pilot test for PARCC. The screw-ups were everywhere, from computer codes that did not work to rebooting every time they tried a new question.
Here are the transcriptions of their texts — verbatim:
- “So our students just did the PARCC pilot. For every section, the kids had to enter a new code. Some codes did not work, some computers froze, directions were not clear and some questions asked which 3 out of 4 could be [the] answer. Kids were stressed because they are used to picking one answer.”
- “If a kid takes too long or hits submit, [the] test times out and a new code has to be generated by the teacher. All this while the clock is ticking.”
- “Our Algebra teacher said it was a nightmare and he is the all star trainer.”
- “Students would get kicked out of test and the teacher had to go to hit resume for each individual person who was kicked out so kids were sitting and waiting.”
- “I received an email from a principal friend detailing the exact same concerns. they lost an entire day of instruction…three weeks before TCAP.”
- “It took 25 mins for some kids to get logged in. After doing the first question, it just says “loading.” It has to load after every question.”
- “Our Alegbra 1 kids were really stressed. it would kick them off the the test for whatever reason, and the only way to get back in was to wait for the teacher to resume that student’s test. This left kids waiting while others were being helped.”
- “the 4th block just quit the test because it was just taking too long to load beweteen questions. They were just sitting and waiting. They were too stressed”
- “Biggest problem from today was that the technology could not handle the test. Too much time loading each question..”
- “Yes. We are losing two days because there are two parts. Debacle.”
- “And now it’s off to a miserable, miserable Michelle Obama-approved, federally dictated [school] lunch.”
[Editor’s note: RTP used transcriptions instead of its normal practice of posting the actual documents. We did so to protect the identity of the teachers themselves.]
After this train wreck expect legislators who have been carrying PARCC’s (and Pearson’s) water to run for the hills.
Hey! Kathleen Sebelius might come to Tennessee and run PARCC and Common Core after her boffo performance with ObamaCare. Her schedule just freed up and she has all the key criteria for joining the Haslam education department (i.e. She is friends with Karl Dean. She’s available, a Democrat, liberal AND incompetent!).