The union representing Santa Fe public school teachers is calling on the school district to delay a Common Core-aligned standardized test scheduled to phase in across New Mexico this year.
Grace Mayer, president of the National Education Association—Santa Fe, is asking the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education to work with the union to get rid of fill-the-bubble standardized tests and replace them with assessments written by local teachers, principals and administrators.
"I am asking this school board to take the lead in this effort and pass a resolution to delay PARCC testing for the next two years," Mayer told the board during its Aug. 4 meeting, "with the goal to eliminate high-stakes testing in Santa Fe Public Schools and allow teachers and principals to develop appropriate grade-level and course assessments that are true, authentic measures of student growth."
The PARCC test, an acronym for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is scheduled to replace the state's flagship Standards Based Assessment test in the upcoming school year. Unlike SBA, the PARCC test is aligned with the Common Core State Standards Initiative and is meant to be more rigorous than its predecessor.
The test will be written and administered by Pearson, a large education corporation that was recently awarded the contract for the PARCC test by the New Mexico Public Education Department. A Washington DC-based nonprofit is suing the state education department over that contract, alleging that it was written to favor Pearson.
Mayer's proposal garnered some sympathy from Santa Fe school board members. Board Member Linda Trujillo says she'll soon sponsor a resolution to continue with the PARCC test this year but delay the "high stakes" aspects that tie the test to teacher evaluations and school letter grades for two years.