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State Reports No Major Glitches On First Day Of PARCC Testing

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State officials say the first day of PARCC testing passed with no major problems, although some students have refused to take the test. As of 3:30...

State officials say the first day of PARCC testing passed with no major problems, although some students have refused to take the test. 

As of 3:30 Monday afternoon, a total of 18,910 tests had been started in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Education reported isolated glitches, but no school-wide or class-wide problems with the new computerized exam, which is replacing NECAP as the state's annual standardized test of Math and English. 

At one elementary school, four students apparently experienced a technical problem, which caused them to to log out of an exam early. A spokesman from RIDE said it appeared the students might have lost some answers, but officials were working to sort out the problem.

Districts that responded to a request from Rhode Island Public Radio have reported small numbers of parents opting out of the test. Chariho school officials say about 2 percent of the student body refused to take the test. Narragansett school officials say 11 students chose to skip PARCC. In Central Falls, which begins testing next week, just one student will sit out of the test.

Nationwide, nearly 4 million PARCC tests have been completed, according to RIDE. The testing began Monday in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

There have been growing calls from teachers unions and other anti-testing advocates for parents to keep their students out of the testing. Critics say PARCC is too time consuming and doesn't do enough to accommodate students with learning disabilities or non-native English speakers. State officials vigorously dispute those claims.

Annual standardized testing is required under federal law. While student participation does not impact federal funding, it does factor into annual school ratings. State officials say a school with a participation rate below 95 percent would be ineligible for commended status. In future years, schools with low participation rates combined with other problems could be required to implement corrective action plans or face more severe state intervention.

Districts that refuse to administer standardized testing would risk losing federal funding, according to RIDE, but so far no Rhode Island districts have discussed taking such a drastic measure. 

State Reports No Major Glitches On First Day Of PARCC Testing
State Reports No Major Glitches On First Day Of PARCC Testing