Following a year of technology problems and complaints from angry parents, Ohio has become the latest state to dump the federally-funded PARCC Common Core test consortium.
Republican Gov. John Kasich, a fierce critic of opponents to the Common Core standards, has agreed with Ohio state House and Senate leaders that it was time to pull out of the PARCC consortium.
Cleveland.com reports that a compromise piece of legislation prohibits the state from funding the PARCC tests and calls for the Ohio Department of Education to find a new test provider. The state spent $26 million on the PARCC tests this past school year.
In a recent statewide survey, Common Core tests from PARCC and other Common Core-aligned tests from test providers such as the American Institutes of Research (AIR) were rated poorly by teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, students, and other citizens.
“The people of the state of Ohio seem to have spoken loudly that they don’t want the PARCC,” state Sen. Peggy Lehner (R) said.
Brittany Warner, spokesperson for state House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) said, “The General Assembly felt it was necessary to intervene based off the many concerns expressed from administrators, teachers and parents.”
PARCC spokesman David Connerty-Marin said that while Ohio’s decision is a “disappointment,” the Common Core standards are still “a huge advance and a big victory for students across the country.”
“No one would have imagined just five or six years ago that the Governors of 45 states, Governors from both political parties, would come together to develop a new set of standards to better prepare students for success in college and careers and that nearly half of their states would share one of two tests developed by state educators,” he said, according to Cleveland.com.
Ohio’s rejection of PARCC, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, means the consortium now has only 11 state-members—down from 25 in 2011.
“There’s no longer any question that PARCC’s golden days are long behind it,” writes Peter Greene at Education Week. “It will be interesting just how small the test can get before Pearson decides that the much-unloved not-so-mega-test is no longer worth their corporate time, trouble, and investment.”
Despite dumping PARCC, Ohio’s politicians are still on board with the controversial Common Core standards and will be looking for a new test that is aligned with the unpopular education reform initiative.
Earlier in the year, Kasich—a potential 2016 presidential contender—referred to resistance to the Common Core standards as “hysteria,” and said opposition to the reform is simply “a runaway internet campaign, as far as I’m concerned in Ohio.”