Many Las Cruces students staged a walkout Monday protesting the increasing number and intensity of high stakes tests. They say an overemphasis on testing is ruining their education.
Students at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces walked out to protest a new standardized test being administered throughout New Mexico: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, known as the PARCC test.
About 100 students walked out at Mayfield.
“I just wanted to yell my lungs out today so I did,” said Mayfield Junior Laura Cruz. She said students don’t have enough class time to prepare for the tests as it is – and the PARCC is only going make it more difficult. “I do get stressed and I am just like I see this that I have this time to do it and I don’t have enough time and I just start crying I’ll get so nervous and I start freaking out and it is just very stressful”
A Public Education Department statement said testing time has actually decreased in the past four years and this year’s PARCC test is taking the place of another standardized test. Students have to take the PARCC test in order to graduate. There are alternative forms of assessment – but in Las Cruces, those are only offered to students after they have attempted the PARCC test three times.
New Mexico’s high school graduation dropped from 70 percent in 2013 to 68.5 percent last year. The national average was much higher at 81 percent, based on 2013 numbers.