Students are having a harder time passing the PARCC

88% of 10th graders last spring scored "needs improvement" or higher on the MCAS tests

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Students are scoring lower on the state’s new standardized test. Preliminary data released Monday shows students taking the new PARCC exam are less likely to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Jessica Vazquez of Holyoke told 22News, “The state is trying to put these kids at some level where they can’t achieve it. And if they fail it, they’re not going to get their diploma. That’s not fair to these kids who work hard.”

According to the new test scores, 88% of 10th graders last spring scored “needs improvement” or higher on the MCAS tests, meeting the state’s minimum testing requirements for a high school diploma. PARCC exam advocates say the test provides a more accurate measurement of a student’s capability to succeed than the existing MCAS test.

Teresa Davila of Holyoke said, “It’s a lot of pressure, and if they come up with this PARCC testing, it’s going to be stressful. You’re going to lose a lot of kids, they’re going to drop out of school.”

The students who took the PARCC exam are enrolled in schools that are part of a 2-year trial for the standardized test. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is expected to vote in November on whether to switch from the MCAS to the PARCC test, as the state’s high school graduation requirement.

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