Saturday, February 1, 2014

Kentucky the Latest State to Withdraw from PARCC Common Core Testing

Is PARCC a political and educational house of cards that's destined to crumble?

That may be the case for the most controversial education issue of the last two decades as the state of Kentucky - the first state to embrace and implement CommonCore - has officially voted to withdraw from the PARCC testing consortium. Like numerous other states (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Kansas, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts), leaders in Kentucky are seeking alternative options for testing the newly adopted CommonCore standards, as they acknowledge considerable unease about the testing process. This problem with PARCC has much to do with the simply lack of transparency about the actual tests, and concern about the tests' ability to reveal evidence of their students' achievement. At this point, Kentucky plans to take bids from testing agencies - including PARCC - for the opportunity to administer state tests, and being a PARCC member could represent a conflict of interest. One of the potential bidders for Kentucky's business (and it's a business worth potentially billions in taxpayer funds) will certainly be ACT which has established a testing system to challenge PARCC and the SmartBalanced consortium. ACT's program, called ACT Aspire, is a comprehensive testing service for grades three through eleven. For an excellent comparison of PARCC vs ACT Aspire, consider this analysis from Dr. Steve Cordogan of Township High School 214 in Illinois.

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