The state of Kentucky withdrew Friday from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), its testing consortium for the Common Core assessments.
According to Education Week, Gov. Steven Beshear (D), Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, and State Board of Education president Roger Marcum sent a letter Thursday to Mitchell D. Chester, chairman of PARCC’s governing board.
The leaders cite several reasons for their decision, the first being that Kentucky intends to invite bids for proposals for new state assessments, observing that it would be a conflict of interest to be a member of PARCC if the test consortium decided to bid on their project.
Second, Kentucky indicates that its status as a participant in the PARCC consortium “has caused some confusion in the state and on the national scene.”
“Teachers, the media, and the public do not understand the subtle differences between ‘participating’ and ‘governing’ status,” the state leaders wrote. “This leads to misinterpretation of Kentucky’s role in PARCC and causes Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff to constantly explain the role of a participating state and to address rumors about upcoming PARCC launch dates.”
States have been able to join either or both the PARCC and the Smarter Balanced consortia as “participating” members, but to be a “governing” member with greater leadership obligations and formal voting status, states can only be a member of one consortium.
Finally, the Kentucky leaders state in their letter that, because resources are limited, they are experiencing difficulty monitoring and contributing to the PARCC process.
The Kentucky state officials indicated that withdrawal from PARCC is effective ten days from the date of the letter.