Skip to main content

Tewksbury Quickly Becoming Ground Zero For Debate Over Common Core/PARCC

Sep 18, 2014 04:35PM, Published by Bill Gilman, Categories: Town Hall, Schools



In the late 90s, the new MCAS exams became a lightning rod for debate over issues such as education funding, state mandates, the role of government in setting education standards and the value of standardized testing.
Fifteen years later, the debate raging over the Common Core standards and the associated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing makes the MCAS furor look like a friendly disagreement.
Earlier this year, the Tewksbury School Committee voted, 3-2, to become one of the Massachusetts school districts taking the PARCC testing out for a "test drive" this year. At its meeting Wednesday night in the TMHS Library, Assistant Superintendent Brenda Theriault-Regan provided an update and an outline for how the testing would be implemented.
PARCC testing will be given to students in grades 3-8 using paper testing forms and to students in Grade 9 and Grade 11 using computer-based tests.
Because of state requirements for next three years, students in Grade 5 and Grade 8 will still take MCAS science tests and students in Grade 10 will take MCAS English/Language Arts and Math tests as a graduation requirement.
According to Theriault-Regan, Massachusetts students in Grade 4 and Grade 8 are ranked No. 1 in the country in reading and math. Massachusetts 15-year-olds rank near the top internationally in the those subjects. However, she said that more than one-third of Massachusetts high school graduates, all of whom passed MCAS, require remedial classes in either reading, math or both in college.
"This new assessment is more than just a graduation requirement," said committee member Dennis Francis. "It's a tool to prepare our students for what lies beyond (high school)."
Theriault-Regan agreed that the PARCC testing and Common Core standards will better help Tewksbury students be ready for college level work.
"Common Core is more rigorous and more demanding that (current) Massachusetts standards," she said.
But even as the Tewksbury School District was gearing up for PARCC testing, the Tewksbury Republican Town Committee was doubling down on its opposition to Common Core as a whole. On Wednesday, the TRTC sponsored a Stop Common Core Rally in Boston. Among those who spoke was state Rep. Jim Lyons, R-Andover, who has been a leading opponent of Common Core in Massachusetts. In the spring, Lyons had tried to push through a budget amendment that would have, for all practical purposes, cut funding for Common Core in the Bay State. The amendment was defeated.
The TRTC has also placed an article on the warrant of the Oct. 7 Special Town Meeting, calling on Tewksbury to "opt out" of the Common Core requirements.







Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yourtewksburytoday/ Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday

Tewksbury Republican Town Committee


  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    09/19/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    09/19/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Tap Dancing with Val

    09/21/2017
    08:45AM — 09:30AM

    A fun, beginner level tap class that works on rhythm and basic tap steps put to upbeat music from...


  • Teen Yoga

    09/21/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Got the back to school blues? Feeling anxious & overwhelmed? Know a teen who does? Well, get t...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    09/19/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    09/19/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...


  • Tap Dancing with Val

    09/21/2017
    08:45AM — 09:30AM

    A fun, beginner level tap class that works on rhythm and basic tap steps put to upbeat music from...


  • Teen Yoga

    09/21/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Got the back to school blues? Feeling anxious & overwhelmed? Know a teen who does? Well, get t...


  • Tewksbury's 9th Annual Zero Waste Day

    09/23/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Just three months until Tewksbury's 9th Annual Zero Waste Day event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept...


  • Tewksbury's 9th Annual Zero Waste Day

    09/23/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    All are welcome to attend Tewksbury's 9th Annual Zero Waste Day event, scheduled for Saturday, Se...


  • Each year, approximately 500 drive-thru donors participate in Zero Waste Day, saving tons of usab...


  • Tewksbury Congregational Church Sunday Service

    09/24/2017
    09:30AM — 10:45AM

    TCC ministers to the needs of the people while developing a sense of God's presence. Our primary ...


  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    09/26/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    09/26/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...


  • Tap Dancing with Val

    09/28/2017
    08:45AM — 09:30AM

    A fun, beginner level tap class that works on rhythm and basic tap steps put to upbeat music from...


  • Teen Yoga

    09/28/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Got the back to school blues? Feeling anxious & overwhelmed? Know a teen who does? Well, get t...


  • Tewksbury Congregational Church Sunday Service

    10/01/2017
    09:30AM — 10:45AM

    TCC ministers to the needs of the people while developing a sense of God's presence. Our primary ...


  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    10/03/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Pizza Festival: Yes! A FESTIVAL of PIZZA!

    10/03/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join many of Tewksbury’s Pizza Shoppes under one roof to sample their Pizza Pies. Lots and lots o...


  • Join Chefs Patrick Bianco of Bianco's Catering, Scott Plath of Cobblestones and Moonstones, Mike ...


  • Join Chefs Patrick Bianco of Bianco's Catering, Scott Plath of Cobblestones and Moonstones, Mike ...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    10/03/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...


  • Tewksbury PD Announces “Coffee With A Cop”

    10/04/2017
    06:30AM — 09:30AM

    The community is encouraged to take this opportunity to bring forth any of their questions and/or...


  • Tap Dancing with Val

    10/05/2017
    08:45AM — 09:30AM

    A fun, beginner level tap class that works on rhythm and basic tap steps put to upbeat music from...


  • Teen Yoga

    10/05/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Got the back to school blues? Feeling anxious & overwhelmed? Know a teen who does? Well, get t...


  • Second Sunday every month, except FIRST Sunday in May e-mail: info@tewksburypantry.org Like us...


  • Tewksbury Congregational Church Sunday Service

    10/08/2017
    09:30AM — 10:45AM

    TCC ministers to the needs of the people while developing a sense of God's presence. Our primary ...


  • Strongwater Farm will host a fun-filled, family friendly, Country and Western Harvest Hoedown at ...


  • Second Monday every month, except FIRST Monday in May e-mail: info@tewksburypantry.org Like us...


  • Tewksbury Farmer's Market

    10/10/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Tewksbury Farmer's Market is open every Tuesday, from 4 P.M. - 7 P.M. on the Tewksbury Town C...


  • Troop 49 Meeting

    10/10/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Troop 49 meets weekly from 7-8:30 on Tuesday nights in St. Williams Parish Center, 1351 Main Stre...