Andy Smarick, former NJ Deputy Commissioner of Education, mourns the devolution of the consortium managing standardized national assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards:
Yesterday, PARCC released the cost of its tests—and right on cue, another state, Georgia, dropped out of the testing consortia. This is a disaster.
At this point, I won’t be surprised if we end up with 20 or more different testing systems in 2014–15. So much for commonness, so much for comparability. Rigor and alignment with tough standards are likely the next to fall.
There will be plenty of time for postmortems, and there will be plenty of blame to go around. But what I find most frustrating is that those backing common assessments seem to have unforgivably underestimated how difficult it would be to undo decades of state policy and practice on tests. This strikes me as technocratic hubris at its very worst: We have a solution to the problem; simply apply it and all will work out.
Also see today’s NJ Spotlight for estimated costs for administering PARCC’s online testing in 2014-2015.