New Mexico students prepare for PARCC testing

In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, practice test books sit on a table in the Sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies classroom at Morgan Elementary School South in Stockport, Ohio. On Tuesday, Ohio becomes the first state to administer one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states. By the end of the year, about 12 million children in 28 states and the District of Columbia will take exams that are expected to be harder than traditional spring standardized state tests they replace. In some states, they'll require hours of additional testing time students will have to do more than just fill in the bubble. The goal is to test students on critical thinking skills, requiring them to describe their reasoning and solve problems. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)
In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, practice test books sit on a table. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – As students across New Mexico prepare to take the PARCC test, the controversial test has some students, parents and teachers on edge.

The public education department decided to make a few changes this year after listening to input from concerned parents and teachers throughout the state. Instead of taking the test in February and then again in April, school districts now have a window to administer the test between April 4 and May 13. That way, officials with the public education department say schools can choose a date that works best for them.

Another change is that educators are cutting 90 minutes off testing time for every grade. That’s so students can get back to regular class time. These changes come after almost a thousand Albuquerque Public School students protested the exam last year, causing nearly 40 schools to lose a letter grade. That’s because the government requires a participation rate of at least 95-percent.

Over the weekend, state senator Howie Morales called for the attorney general to weigh in on whether parents can legally opt their children out of taking the test. The attorney general’s office is now reviewing that request.

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