No one would have predicted that even with Tony Bennett’s departure, a red state like Indiana would shift so decidedly away his reforms. But not every republican legislators was on board. In April, the Indiana legislature voted to re-write it’s school grade formula and to “pause” implementation of Common Core. Now they’ve backed away from the PARCC testing consortium. Writes StateImpact Indiana reporter Elle Moxley:
We dropped by the PARCC governing board meeting in Washington, D.C. — you know, just happened to be in the neighborhood — and noticed an absence: Indiana.
State education officials didn’t participate in talks Wednesday to set performance expectations on new standardized tests aligned to a set of nationally-crafted academic standards known as the Common Core.
As a governing state in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, Indiana gets a seat at the table. But no one from the Department of Education has attended a PARCC governing board meeting since Superintendent Glenda Ritz took office in January.
That tracks with what Ritz told StateImpact last week about participation in PARCC and Smarter Balanced, the other consortium writing tests for the Common Core.
“We will not be participating in consortiums that decide for us the cost of the test, the questions on the test, the cutoffs,” she says. “Indiana will be doing that on its own.”
Ritz says her office scaled back involvement in the PARCC consortium after state lawmakers voted to pause rollout of the Common Core pending a legislative review. HB 1427 also bars the State Board of Education from ceding control of standards or assessments to outside entities.
This spring Ritz expressed an interest in also joining Smarter Balanced so Indiana could go with whichever consortia designed a better assessment. That’s what North Dakota is doing.
While this is sure to be a bitter pill for Bennett, the news won’t be lost on Florida legislative leaders. Common Core and PARCC are joined at the hip. Bloodied from a decade of FCAT drama, will they have the appetite for shoving Common Core-PARCC testing into Florida’s shaky and controversial education accountability apparatus?