Most districts around the country are in the process of completing the much-anticipated first assessments of the Common Core State Standards by either the Smarter Balanced Assessment System or the PARCC. Although educators have had the opportunity to prepare for this new educational venture, it is becoming apparent that many parents may not have been so fortunate. The Public Policy Institute of California research group conducted a recent survey of California adult residents regarding their awareness of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, and their findings were: 55 percent of public school parents were not at all aware of the new test being administered, and 36 percent reporting that they heard a little. When questioned regarding their knowledge of the Common Core State Standards only 34 percent said that they had received information about them, while over 60 percent of the parents either received no information or reported having inadequate information.
The only news that could be more devastating than parents not having knowledge and understanding of the assessments in use with their children would be the achievement results. It’s very difficult if not impossible to prepare for the unknown.
Assessment processes that do not include the parent subsequently deny them the fundamental right and joy of being able to assist their child in learning. Standardized assessments have the potential to provide both educators and parents with critical information regarding skill attainment, needs, and strengths, which can and should be used to guide instruction in school as well as in the home. Assessments and the related skills must be readily available for parent consumption, and must be conveyed in a manner which empowers the parent to take action for the benefit of their child. When there are assessments and procedures that fail to provide easily conveyed data and or have scoring metrics, which are too difficult for the parent to understand, they are not in the best interest of the child or the family.
The ultimate goal of every action that we do should lead the student to success and create opportunities for students to win. The question of involving parents in a manner which is directly connected to student achievement continue to be a major challenge for the great many however, this challenge is also the source of great opportunity and reward.
For further information regarding The Public Policy Institute of California’s study, go to the following link: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_415MBS.pdf