Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I'm remembering back to 2015 when Arne Duncan's SUV took a wrong turn on the way to Ariel Community Academy in Chicago, and he was forced to get out and walk through a large group of anti-PARCC protesters, who were there to express their opposition to the new common-core-aligned exams. Duncan did not stop to speak to them.

Duncan had already launched tirades against parents who wanted their kids to opt-out of PARCC. Remember this one?
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” -- Washington Post
Fast-forward to today. Duncan's gone and apparently so is PARCC -- at least from most states. The PARCC consortium, apparently feeling the burn, has chosen a new nonprofit to manage the business of maintaining and administering its test: New Meridian Corp., a brand-new organization led by people from various strands of the assessment world.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, has lost most of its original state members. Only six states and the District of Columbia are using the test this year, and that number will drop by one more next year.

EdWeek reports: 
Its president and CEO, Arthur VanderVeen, who has spent the past 14 years at Compass Learning, the New York City Department of Education, and the College Board, told Education Week that he and his team interviewed the leaders of 14 states—current and former PARCC states, some who use Smarter Balanced, and some who haven't used either consortium test—to get a sense of their testing priorities.
 Sustainability has been an issue for both consortia as the end of their federal funding near drew. That $360 million was meant only to support the design of the tests. Once they made their operational debut, in 2014-15, financial responsibility for sustaining the tests shifted to the states. Both consortia have lost membership, but Smarter Balanced has maintained a larger stable of states using its test—14 this year—than has PARCC.