The ACLU of Rhode Island and 13 other organizations are urging school districts not to use PARCC as a graduation requirement before the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education's recommended start date of 2020 after some districts requested permission to use the PARCC test as a graduation requirement before the 2020 date.

In a letter to every school committee in the state, the organizations said that using PARCC scores for graduation or grading purposes before the mandated 2020 date would be "problematic" and would not provide adequate time for districts to establish the supports needed to give every student a fair chance to pass the PARCC. Those supports and instructional opportunities include: allowing students multiple years of experience take the test, giving families prior warning if their child is struggling to pass the test, and implementing supports and services for struggling students.

"Implementing the PARCC as a graduation requirement at an earlier rather than later date jeopardizes that possibility and raises a multitude of legal compliance issues that should be carefully considered," the letter stated.

While the groups do not support the use of PARCC as a graduation or grading requirement at any time, they do want to support districts' efforts to "carefully put in place the kinds of educational and support processes that give all students, and especially vulnerable students, the best possible chance to meet any standard set for graduation."

A sample letter is available here. Learn more about our years-long efforts to stop high-stakes testing in Rhode Island here