As parents, we’re always met with catch-22’s when it comes to what’s best for our children. Do we shield them from the tough realities of the world or do we encourage them to meet these challenges head on?
Many families faced this conundrum last spring when students began taking the new PARCC exam. PARCC is based on higher standards, and it’s different from the old fill-in-the-bubble multiple choice tests students were used to. They need to think critically and explain their answers.
Do we really need to throw so much change at our kids? Is it really healthy to put so much pressure on them?
While these are fair questions, I’ve decided that the change to higher standards and the PARCC exam is a good thing. It’s what our kids—and all Illinois students—need to make sure they’re prepared for the future.
I have three children—in third, sixth and eighth grade—and the older ones do not like tests. They also do not like to eat broccoli, go to the dentist, and do their chores. Actually, come to think of it, both my girls do not like to do a lot of things I make them do.
But deep down—like, really deep down—they know I make them do these things because I love them. I want the best for them now and for the successful future I know they can have.
PARCC is the first step to tackling the inequality in our current educational system. It is time for truth and to make a change that all children benefit from! With PARCC’s continued improvements such as shorter testing times and allowing states to customize it, the test will only get better.
We look at this as a great opportunity for honesty. Parents, students, teachers and schools are now being told the truth. And if asked to pick between knowing the truth and just assuming my children are learning what they need to succeed, there’s really no choice at all.
Photo by Pasco County Schools, CC-licensed.