Showing posts with label PARCC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PARCC. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"there is still work to be done, especially with the subgroup that included disabled students"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Three local schools scored in the highest level of performance in standardized testing, district officials said Tuesday. 
The School Committee heard a presentation at its Tuesday night meeting on the district's progress in testing, with officials saying Franklin High School, Oak Street Elementary School and Kennedy Elementary School had earned the state's "level one" accountability rating, the highest available. 
Assistant Superintendent Joyce Edwards said the high school and Kennedy School had previously held the rating, while the Oak Street School's performance represents an improvement. 
"We're currently a level two district... that's the predominant level across the state," she said. "That number is based on the lowest-performing school in the district."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The presentation document with the MCAS and PARCC summary can be found here

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Live reporting: MCAS and PARCC Results - Spring 2016

2. Guests/Presentations

b. PARCC / MCAS – Joyce Edwards

grades 3-8 took PARCC, computer based testing
science test taken by grades 5 and 8 via paper (only option)
see page 3 of the presentation for the full summary

district schools were held 'harmless' for taking PARCC
could gain, could not lose
Kennedy, Oak, and FHS won the Level 1 status
Oak was the 'new' school to gain this status 
Level 2 as a district as it is based upon the lowest school in the district

comparison yr to yr on PARCC as State level data is not yet available

looking for a target growth of 30-60%

students in subgroups still need work to get their results up to the aggregate of all the students

data analysis
looked at in any way possible, down to individual students as necessary
state does not yet provide item analysis for the PARCC results
used in conjunction with other assessment data

Copy of District Curriculum Accommodation Plan published separately

on the Science MCAS, gr 5 16% better than State average; gr 8 18% better than the State

looking ahead to MCAS 2.0 for the spring of 2017
to use PARCC like questions, all via computer 
one testing window, largely all of April and May
the district calendar will be finalized and shared with schools/parents in December
current 8th grade class of 2021 will be the first to take the high school competency determination when they get there

PARCC should be disappearing from lexicon, only needed for some reporting comparisons

Jewell - it was a good thing for us to have taken the PARCC questions
Edwards - Yes, it was a good move

did have a number of families opt of the PARCC testing last year, a small number, less than 1% of the district; did not impact the participation rate

at FHS, no MCAS, no diploma

Scofield - What were some of the reasons for the opt out
Edwards - Mostly family desire

for FHS drop out, usually only 2-3 students per year
the final state data should be ready in a couple of weeks

student health absences do usually still allow for re-testing during the testing window

possible future question for the Communications Subcommittee on the standard testing opt out reasons to get additional info

some philosophical objections were raised due to the nature of PARCC and whether that continues with MCAS 2.0 remains to be seen

good writing is about writing for your audience, short cuts in texting does not work well in testing

O'Malley - disgruntled with the State and their progress on tests

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In the News: Medway objects, testing transition

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

"In a letter to the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, Medway said it opposes Franklin’s intervention in the board’s permitting of Exelon’s proposed expansion of the existing power plant on Summer Street. 
The letter, written by Jeffrey Bernstein, a lawyer hired to represent the town in all dealings with Exelon, called into question the Franklin’s reasons for participation, calling them legally insufficient “to allow the late filing of a petition to intervene nearly six months” after the deadline to intervene in June. 
“The town of Medway has significant concerns about the veracity of statements made both in the Town of Franklin’s filings and the affidavit in support thereof,” Bernstein wrote."

Continue reading the article online here (subscription may be required)

"The Franklin School District is in the midst of transitioning from the MCAS test to PARCC, and school officials said local students performed well in both this past year. 
Assistant Superintendent Joyce Edwards noted that students outperformed the state in PARCC, but said the test itself is not in its final form. 
"It takes a very long time until a new test is fully tested and validated," she said. "I think it will be a few years before the data is completely reliable."

Continue reading the article online here (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Franklin Public Schools: MCAS and PARCC results 2015

The presentation scheduled to be used for the update to the Franklin (MA) School Committee at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec 8, 2015.

the key to learning
the key to learning

Monday, November 30, 2015

Looking back to February 2015

The proposed memorial commemorating Kristen Graci was back before the School Committee and after much discussion around the matter the policy was changed to allow for the panther memorial.

You can find the summary here:


There was a whole lot more snow. School missed days, the commuter rail and the rest of the MBTA suffered with schedule and equipment issues.

Dean College sign being buried in the snow
Dean College sign being buried in the snow
More snow photos can be found here


PARCC Update to the School Committee

(Updated: The MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recently chosen to go with MCAS 2.0 which is reported to be a combination of MCAS with PARCC rather than go with PARCC alone.)


The Economic Development Committee met to discuss the Pond St property

The Town Council held two meetings


You can cruise through all the February archives here

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In the News: MCAS 2.0, Clerk recount Thursday, Sen Spilka visits Franklin, Methodist Church events

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

After test-driving the PARCC exam for two years, Massachusetts will instead opt for a new hybrid exam beginning in 2017. 
“This is going to be one of the most important policy decisions I think any group in the commonwealth will make for many years to come,” Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chairman Paul Sagan said. 
The board voted 8-3 Tuesday to adopt Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester’s proposal to develop a new standardized test that incorporates elements of both PARCC and MCAS. Chester touted the new exam as a “next-generation MCAS” and “MCAS 2.0.”

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

The votes cast in the town election earlier this month will be recounted Thursday to definitively name the winner of the town clerk race. 
Current Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri said candidate Diane Padula-O'Neill has formally requested the reconsideration after coming up 32 votes shy in the Nov. 3 count. 
The recount will take place at 10 a.m. at the Franklin Municipal Building, Pellegri said.

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

State Sen. Karen Spilka visited the Franklin Downtown Partnership office recently, viewing the progress being made on the Downtown Roadway and Streetscape Improvement Project and discussing the FDP’s work on a number of downtown initiatives. 
Franklin Downtown Partnership Executive Director Lisa Piana and Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Taberner reviewed the Streetscape construction project’s progress to date. They also shared plans for new development and improvements to the downtown, such as a new retail building, park, and Horace Mann statue at the corner of Emmons and West Central streets.

Read the full article online here (subscription may be required)

Franklin United Methodist Church, 82 W. Central St., will host the following Christmas events.
  • Caroling: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
  • Quiet time service, or Blue Christmas service: 7 p.m. Dec. 17.
  • Christmas Pageant: 10 a.m. Dec. 20.
  • Christmas Eve services: 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Dec. 24.
For information, call the church at 508-528-1092.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School Students in All Grades Outpace State in PARCC Test Performance

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School students (BFCCPS) outperformed state averages on all tests across all grade levels on the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests taken last spring. 
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
Across all grade levels tested, students at BFCCPS averaged an 81 percent proficiency rate on PARCC English language arts (ELA) exams and 70 percent in math, compared to average statewide proficiency rates of 46 percent and 45 percent, respectively. 
"We are proud of our students and teachers, who put in a lot of hard work to make this incredible achievement possible," said Heather Zolnowski the Head of School at BFCCPS. "Our community is built on a strong partnership between parents, students, our faculty and administration, and the extraordinary results seen across the board on the PARCC exam is a testament to our success."BFCCPS is among approximately 300 school districts across Massachusetts that opted to administer the PARCC test in the spring of 2015 under a two-year state pilot. 
The gaps between BFCCPS PARCC scores and statewide averages are dramatic. On the English language arts test, 90 percent of BFCCPS 6th graders scored proficient or better compared to the state average of 60 percent. For the same class, 78 percent scored proficient or above for math, compared to the state average of 53 percent for 6th graders. 
Similarly, 76 and 86 percent of BFCCPS 3rd and 8th graders, respectively, earned proficient scores in English, as compared to 54 and 64 percent of 3rd and 8th graders statewide who took PARCC. In math, 84 percent of 3rd graders and 74 percent of 5th graders at the regional public charter school received scores of proficient and above, while averages were 55 percent for both 3rd and 5th grades across the state. 
BFCCPS' high PARCC scores across the board demonstrate that its students are progressing well through each grade level and on track to be well prepared for high school and beyond. 
Enrollment Applications for this regional public charter school for students in Grades Kindergarten through Eight for the 2016-2017 school year are now live. BFCCPS will host the first of six information sessions where applicants can learn more about the school this Saturday, November 14th from 10 am to noon. Learn more and apply online at

About Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School's mission is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What will the DESE do with MCAS, PARCC or the new option 'Door #3'?

At the Tuesday meeting (Oct 20, 2015) of the state Board of Elementary and Higher Education where the latest standardized test scores were released, those scores weren’t the main topic of the day. Instead, talk focused on a new twist in the ongoing discussion of whether to keep using the MCAS test or switch to PARCC: How about neither one? 
Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, is due to make his recommendation on the tests to the board before its Nov. 17 vote. In a special meeting Monday, he told the board that he was now weighing a third possibility, or “Door No. 3,” as he put it: a so-called “MCAS 2.0,” which could use elements of the new PARCC tests to build a state-specific assessment.

You can continue to read the article online here:

State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, left, and Education Secretary Jim Peyser speak with reporters following the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting on Tuesday.
State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, left, and Education Secretary Jim Peyser speak with reporters following the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting on Tuesday. (image from CommonWealth Magazine)

“None of the above” now looks like the correct answer to that test question. 
What looked like an either-or choice between retaining the state’s MCAS exam or scrapping it in favor of the new Common Core-aligned PARCC test has taken an unexpected turn and landed on a compromise plan to develop a revamped state test being billed “MCAS 2.0,” which would include a lot of content from the PARCC test. 
State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester made it clear on Tuesday that he won’t recommend formal adoption of the PARCC test, developed by a multistate consortium of education leaders, but will instead seek to have the state retain control of the standardized test it administers to public school students while at the same time drawing from the new PARCC test to upgrade MCAS.
You can continue to read the article online here:

Friday, September 18, 2015

In the News: state police alert on scams, eagle scouts recognized, development along RT 140, MCAS argued for

Massachusetts State Police issued a scam warning on their official Facebook page Thursday. According to the posting, scammers pretending to be members of the state police or affiliated with the police are calling people and soliciting money for drug prevention and intervention programs. 
The scammers may claim to be part of a narcotics unit, police said.
Continue to read the article online here (subscription may be required)

Boy Scouts Patrick Cunniff, Jonathan Tomaso and Joseph Kroon, from Troop 99 of Franklin, were honored at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Aug. 1 for achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouts. 
Each scout completed a community service project that benefited the community: Cunniff worked with the Franklin Girls Softball Association to build four dugouts at the Remington-Jefferson fields; Tomaso constructed a walkway between the front and back entrances to the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School benefiting both charter school students and St. Mary Parish CCD students; and Kroon, sponsored by the Town of Franklin, built an arched foot bridge over a stream on the disc golf course at Dacey Fields.
arched foot bridge at Dacey Field disc golf course
arched foot bridge at Dacey Field disc golf course

Continue to read the article online here (subscription may be required)

"There will be several different buildings," he said. "There's a gas station and, adjacent to that, a lube place and at least one restaurant. There will be several other retail spaces as well." 
According to Taberner, the developer has not labeled all of the proposed buildings, meaning it is uncertain which businesses will occupy them. 
Taberner said the board has requested more information from the developer, and would likely be considering the project for some time. He said he did not know how long the process might take. 
"The matter was continued to the next Planning Board meeting," he said. "It could be two, three, four or five - I have no idea how many meetings it might take."
Continue to read the article online here (subscription may be required)

In a meeting with the Daily News editorial board on Wednesday, Pioneer Institute’s Jamie Gass and Tom Birmingham, former Senate president and co-author of the Education Reform Act of 1993 which created the MCAS, cautioned against switching from the long-standing test. Instead, the pair recommended working within the current system for better results. 
After education reform went into effect, Birmingham said the state set and met new standards that have pushed school performance to the top in the nation. If Massachusetts signs on to the PARCC test, Birmingham said he worries standards will drop to accommodate students in other PARCC states that don't have tests as rigorous as those in Massachusetts. 
“Before you outright jettison what has been coincident, at least, with our historic, unprecedented education success stories … I think you should bear in mind the words from the Hippocratic Oath, which is first, do no harm,” Birmingham said. “I’m fearful that if we do jettison MCAS and replace it with something else that is yet completely untested, we are inviting regression in terms of our education success.”

Continue to read the article online here (subscription may be required)

Info on MCAS can be found here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pantherbook Roundup: PARCC, human rights club, Trivia Bee

Pantherbook has been publishing more frequently so there are several good items to share. Pantherbook is the student effort reporting on FHS and Franklin providing a great opportunity to practice writing while using the various publishing and social medai tools available today.

1 - What do the students think about PARCC?

The newly introduced PARCC test has caused confusion and server failure for students and some staff at Franklin High School (FHS). Information from the administration can elucidate the background, purpose, and future of PARCC. 
First, PARCC is not yet a done deal. The question of whether or not it will be implemented will be voted on in early September by the Board of Education and the State. 
This new form of state testing is meant to judge a student’s college and career readiness. It tests application of skills as opposed to recitation of memorized information.
Continue reading the article here

2 - FHS students getting active discussing human rights

Young activists are welcome to come discuss social issues both within the school and beyond at Franklin High School’s Human Rights Club. 
Junior Olivia Pavao started the club in early January. She attended a Summer at Brown where she met students who had human rights clubs at their own schools, and was inspired to bring one to Franklin High School. 
“We have the GSA, we have Anti-Bullying. Combining those and making them more inclusive of a lot of different people would better our school,” said Pavao.
Continue reading the article here

Trivia Bee (pantherbook photo)
A shot from the FEF Trivia Bee (Abigail Weinberg)

3 - they reported on the recent Trivia Bee

On Wednesday, April 8, the Franklin Education Foundation held its 18th annual Trivia Bee at the Horace Mann Auditorium. Many members of the community participated, including several FHS students. The event raised thousands of dollars that go directly toward helping our town’s educational system. 
According to their Facebook page, the FEF is “an independent, non-profit, community-based organization developed to support to innovation and excellence in education… by funding grants for teachers and other staff within the Franklin public school system.” 
The Trivia Bee is an event that helps carry out this mission. Each year, students, parents, local business owners, teachers, and other school faculty members can participate in a trivia competition consisting of several rounds. This year’s trivia theme was movie trivia.
Continue reading the article here

Monday, March 23, 2015

LETTER TO EDITOR: PARCC is Failing Teachers and Students | Framingham, MA Patch

A group of Framingham elementary school teachers have written a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Framingham Patch:

As teachers we cannot stay silent as PARCC makes its way into our classrooms.

In the words of Soujourner Truth at the 1851 Women’s Convention, “Where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter.” Nationally, we’re hearing a racket about the problem of standardized tests driving instruction, knocking the process of education clearly out of kilter. Here are a few reasons why: 
1. Test Prep takes time away from REAL Reading, Writing and Math Instruction.

PARCC website
PARCC website

Continue to read the article to see the other reasons listed for their objections to the PARCC test.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

PARCC Update to School Committee - Feb 24, 2015

The PARCC brochure handed out at recent parent night meetings can be found here

The 10 Questions about PARCC can be found here

Related posts on PARCC

PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

What is PARCC?
Youc an find out more about PARCC on their webpage

The full School Committee agenda for Tuesday, Feb 24 can be found here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Franklin Public Schools: MCAS Presentation

Joyce Edwards, Director of Instructional Services, Franklin Public Schools is scheduled to use this document to provide an update to the School Committee on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

The presentation provides an update on the MCAS results from last year, Franklin;s comparison overall to MA and selected school districts, and a discussion on how the results will drive education in the classroom.

The full agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requiring a decision on whether to use Franklin should use PARCC or MCAS for testing. This is the presentation document summarizing the Franklin position that will be up for discussion at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Jun 10.

PARCC logo
PARCC logo

Related posts
The intro to PARCC


The official PARCC website

The full School Committee agenda for Jun 10 can be found here

Monday, April 7, 2014

"there is not an opt-out option"

On Sunday, the Boston Globe MetroWest section had an article on the growing discussion around standardized testing. PARCC is being piloted here in Franklin as well as other communities around the state. Some communities are trying to get out of the piloting and the article quotes Franklin's Joyce Edwards:

Joyce Edwards, director of instructional services for the Franklin school system, said every step had been taken to ensure that the testing, which will be conducted this week and in May in eight schools across the district, will have as minimal an impact on daily instruction as possible. 
“There is always an extra burden when there is extra testing,” Edwards said. “We took every exemption available to avoid double-testing. Beyond that the state has been quite clear there is not an opt-out option.”
Franklin’s schools obtained MCAS exemptions from the state for students who take the PARCC pilot test. If students take a PARCC test in English or math, they won’t have to take the same section in MCAS. 
Edwards said if an opt-out was allowed by the state, the district probably would have offered it. 
“We absolutely would have considered that,” she said. “We don’t believe in double-testing and the loss in instructional time.”

You can find the full article online here (subscription required)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Medway Middle School - Do You Know What Common Core Is?

Concerned about the common core standards and the move to go to PARCC to replace MCAS? This meeting is for you

The Milford Daily New has an article today on the Medway parent group that is active in this exploring this issue  (subscription required)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Franklin Schools: MCAS and PARCC test schedule

The MCAS and PARCC test schedule for the Franklin schools is scheduled for discussion Tuesday evening at the School Committee meeting.

The full agenda for the meeting can be found here

Friday, September 27, 2013

School Committee: MCAS and PARCC presentations

If you missed the School Committee meeting on Tuesday and want to review the presentations on MCAS and PARCC, the new test being piloted here in Franklin, you can view both documents here.

The overview on Franklin's MCAS scores

The overview on PARCC which is slated to replace MCAS

More about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) can be found here

More about MCAS can be found here

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"as challenging as it is rewarding"

Joyce Edwards, Director of Instructional Services for the Franklin Public Schools, is quoted in the Milford Daily News article on the new PARCC test that will replace the MCAS test.

What is PARCC? PARCC is Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

What is the difference between the MCAS and PARCC?
The MCAS —influenced by the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, whose creation followed the passing of the Education Reform Act of 1993 — has consistently tested for a collection of skills that educators expect students to learn during their elementary and secondary schooling. 
However, PARCC’s goal has been to use benchmarks that will accurately predict students’ chances of excelling beyond high school, should they choose to attend a four-year institution or dive into the workforce. 
"The MCAS was not developed to look ahead and signal whether or not students are ready for success after high school," said Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester. "This assessment is very deliberately asking that question . . ."

While the current MCAS science test will remain, the other subject areas will move to the new PARCC test.
Bolduc added, "They are taking the MCAS and putting it on steroids." 
With two versions of the test given in one school year — though districts will have the option to administer up to four versions in a year — teachers will get initial feedback from a late year test before the comprehensive final exam, providing them with, as Edwards put it, "just in time intervention." 
To prepare for PARCC testing, districts have to make sure they have the infrastructure to administer the test (for those that do not, the state will offer a pencil and pen version) and continue fusing their curriculum with the Common Core.
When you read "the infrastructure required" what they really mean to say is the computer systems the student will used to take the test.

Read more:

For more information on the collaboration of the 24 states visit

For information from the MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education visit