Indiana Drops Common Core Tests

Indiana is the latest state to withdraw from a national Common Core testing coalition, leaving state officials to reconsider the national standards and tests.

According to EAGNews.org, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced Monday that his state will no longer participate in Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and will officially withdraw, effective August 12th.

“It is the right and responsibility of the state to make independent, fiscally responsible decisions regarding standards and assessments for the good of all the people of Indiana,” Pence said in a statement.

By law, Indiana may only withdraw from PARCC if the current state superintendent agrees with the decision. A state Department of Education spokesperson has said that superintendent Glenda Ritz (D) agrees with Pence’s decision.

Heartland.org reports that Indiana may re-join PARCC if its state board of education opts to stay with Common Core. A 2013 law mandates that a decision be made by July 2014 following a statewide review.

The new state law calls for a thorough review of the Common Core standards. They were adopted in 2010 under the guidance of former state superintendent Tony Bennett. Kindergarten and first grade teachers are already teaching the Common Core standards, and second grade teachers were slated to switch to Common Core in 2013-2014 school year. The Indiana Department of Education, however, has asked that second graders continue with the old standards.

Indiana children will continue to use state ISTEP+ tests for 2013-2014, and onward if the state board retains Indiana standards. In that case, said Claire Fiddian-Green, Pence’s special assistant for education, the ISTEP+ would likely be revised “to meet college- and career-ready requirements.”

In July, Georgia and Oklahoma announced that they would withdraw from the Common Core tests as well. In order to keep its federal grant that provides all its operating funds, PARCC must keep at least 15 states in the coalition. With Indiana dropping out, PARCC now has 17 participants. The other national testing group, Smarter Balanced, has 24 participants.


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