Praiseworthy on PARCC [Editorial]

The Aegis

What we’re going to say about the latest release of standardized testing results for Harford County Public Schools students we’ve said many times in the past on similar occasions.

Many people believe standardized testing is bogus and patently unfair for a variety of reasons. While some of that criticism is justified, this form of measuring student achievement is here to stay. Over the course of many decades, alternatives have been discussed, but none has risen to the level of one test fits all.

While everyone learns and thinks differently, we’re also measured against peer groups throughout our lives, be it in play, school, work or community. That’s not necessarily fair, but it’s what happens.

With those disclaimers out of the way, it is again welcome news that Harford students continue to outperform average scoring statewide on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers testing program, known as PARCC.

On a statewide basis, a lot of those average scores, in math in particular, aren’t so great, a fact being lamented by state education officials and providing fodder for testing opponents.

Harford students have done reasonably well on the PARCC since its introduction a few years ago. Average scores of local high school students who take the SAT have also been on the rise, and that has occurred at a time when more seniors and juniors are taking the tests, which typically tends to depress the averages.

If everyone is taking the same test, you want to be well above the average, because it shows you are achieving. That’s what Harford’s students have been doing with PARCC and SAT.

These latest PARCC results are a credit to the HCPS students and their teachers and the school administration, as well as to the support they receive at home. All are worthy of praise.

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