Some States Dump Common Core Tests

January 29, 2014

Controversy over Common Core standards has led some states to withdraw from the testing programs, says Stateline.

Two multistate testing groups -- the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) -- received $360 million in taxpayer funds to create Common Core tests. But as concern over the program has emerged, some states have decided to use alternative tests and withdraw from the Smarter Balanced and PARCC programs.

  • Kansas withdrew from the Smarter Balanced group in December and plans to use tests from the University of Kansas instead. Alaska has announced that it will do the same.
  • Florida has also withdrawn from PARCC and is looking at alternative testing options. Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma withdrew from the program in the summer of 2013.
  • Pennsylvania plans to use its own tests.

Still, the 45 states that have adopted Common Core's English and math standards have kept the standards.

Smarter Balanced and PARCC will begin some testing in March, but most states will not use Common Core tests until next year.

Those in support of PARCC and Smarter Balanced say that the tests focus on depth of learning and will better evaluate students' learning levels and college readiness.

But some have expressed concern that the exams are more expensive than the usual tests and question their value. Theodor Rebarber, CEO of AccountabilityWorks, says that states should really take a hard look at the tests' costs and examine whether the Smarter Balanced and PARCC tests are actually innovative.

Source: Adrienne Lu, "States Reconsider Common Core Tests," Stateline, January 24, 2014.

 

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