The first of Jeb Bush’s vaunted Chiefs for Change has made the decision to drop from the controversial PARCC testing consortium. Andrea Eger tells us this in Tulsa World:
State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Monday that she is withdrawing Oklahoma from testing through a consortium of 20 or so other states to coincide with the new Common Core curriculum standards.
Instead of using new assessments developed through the group, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, Oklahoma will work with a testing company to develop its own new standardized tests for the 2014-15 academic year.
“We came to this decision after many months of deliberation, listening to classroom teachers, curriculum directors, superintendents and visiting with legislative leadership and the Governor’s Office,” Barresi told the Tulsa World.
Joining PARCC was one of Barresi’s first major decisions upon taking office in January 2011.
Jeff Solochek in Gradebook has more about other states dropping out.
Barresi committed Oklahoma to PARCC during the early heady wine days when Common Core juggernaut was moving along unchallenged by politicians on the right because Jeb Bush said so. But the most interesting part of Barresi’s decision was a reason that Florida legislators haven’t considered.
While the costs of PARCC assessments have not yet been made public, Barresi estimates that Oklahoma could save at least $2 million per year by contracting for its own new English, language arts and math exams for grades three through eight and working with its current vendor to align high school end-of-instruction exams to the new curriculum standards.
With PARCC being Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett’s baby – he represents Florida as the fiscal agent – will he level with the legislature and the state board on potential savings. The rushed way he’s pushing through the work of the schools grades task force should give pause to the board members he is to answer to on July 16.