Like many administrators, I’m concerned with the stress that comes with the PARCC Assessment. Because of this anxiety, I crafted this letter to my staff, so they’d know I that I understand how they feel and how we need to face the PARCC Assessment.
I want to tell you how special I think you are and thank you for all that you do. I recognize your creativity, your commitment and caring for every child. I value your passion and expertise. I want you to know that regardless of the PARCC Assessment results I know what you do with and for children and how powerful the work is that you do every day.
This test is just one data point in a year full of engaging lessons, activities, and projects. This test does not define you or your children. You have done an outstanding job preparing for this all the while not compromising the integrity of the standards you are required to teach. You have continued to make learning fun and your classroom environments are places in which all students love to spend time.
I see the worry on your faces. I hear the anxiety in your voices. Please just let it go. What if the technology breaks down? It will. What if the students get frustrated? They will. What happens when my children see their scores and they are less than they had hoped for? We will remind them that this test is just one data point on a continuum of learning. We will show them all of the success that they have encountered and we will tell them what I am telling you right now–to let it go.
You and your students are more than the sum of the score on the PARCC test. Breathe. Know that I am proud of you. Be confident that you have given your students an excellent education and above all, let it go.
Your biggest fan,
It’s important for all school leaders to inform their teachers and parents that this test isn’t all that they and their students are.
We need to convince them to let it go.
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Principal of a dual language IB elementary school. Beck is the co-author of Easy and Effective Professional Development, published by Routledge. She is a professor at both Concordia University and American College of Education. You can reach her on Twitter @cathypetreebeck.