By Joe Luppino-Esposito
Originally posted by State Budget Solutions on August 2, 2013
This has been a rough summer for Common Core supporters as a growing number of states are evaluating the merits of the standards and choosing to leave the testing consortia due to high costs and uncertainty.
Georgia and Indiana have just joined the list of states opting out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the two state consortia responsible for developing tests that fit the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) curriculum. The universal tests are a key part of CCSS, and as more states leave, the less “common” the CCSS becomes. Georgia state leaders say that the cost of PARCC tests, which has been set at $29.50 per student, was too high. The state will maintain its own testing service in order to evaluate students.
Indiana’s departure from PARCC came as part of its “pause” on implementation of CCSS. Governor Mike Pence said that, as part of the state’s evaluation of the CCSS, it would be necessary to leave the consortium entirely in order for the state to remain independent in its budgeting and education decisions.
In 2009, many states jumped at the opportunity to gain more federal funds for adopting CCSS. Now, as the implementation dates draw closer, many states are now dealing with buyer’s remorse. While some states cite the high testing costs, others have now become concerned with the ability of local officials to stay in control of education, a traditional function of state and local government.
This won’t be the last we hear about states dealing with CCSS sticker shock. Arizona is looking at a major increase in its education testing budgets by adopting PARCC. Kansas, part of the Smarter Balanced consortium, is also looking at an increase in testing costs. State legislators in Florida recently wrote a letter to the state education commissioner (who has since resigned) asking him to leave PARCC. And one Ohio legislator is hoping the state drops the CCSS altogether.
States erred when they voluntarily allowed the lure of federal government funding to supersede their duty to maintain their own education system. It seems as though several states have learned the lesson about being better late than never.
To learn more about the Common Core, click here.