The P.A.R.C.C. tests begin today in my sons' third grade class. We’ve spent countless hours talking about it on air.

Just so you know, I’m against making the students take the tests. The testing won't benefit the kids in any way in my opinion. They’re going to be taking enough tests that will matter throughout their lives, they don't need this one. It also bothers me that we take weeks out of their school year to teach the curriculum for the test.

After speaking with their teacher I was assured that what they were learning would also be part of the teaching plan and that my sons would probably do very well. My wife thinks that they should take the test, so we came to a compromise saying that I would make the decision this year and she makes the decision next year.

I wanted my sons to participate in this decision. I told them that if they did not take the test, they would be using the time reading in a separate room. I also gave them a heads up  that their classmates who are taking the test may resent them and that once they made their decision there was no turning back.

Now if you’re thinking "what kind of parent lets a 9-year-old decide whether or not they should take a week long test?" I would say "the kind of parent who is already OK with the decision not to have them take it," so whatever they decide is alright with me. If they really want to take it, I won't be standing in their way.

As it turns out, Lennon said that he wants to take the test, while Albert said that he did not. Albert is very interested in biographies, so he's looking forward to the time he will spend reading.

Personally, as a man who grew up reading and watching countless biographies, I can honestly say I’ve learned and remembered more from those than I ever did from a test.

So what do you think about NJ students taking the PARCC tests?

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