Putting Education Reform To The Test

Gov. Scott Says Proposed Multi-State Test Will Take Too Long And Is Too Expensive

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that PARCC will take too long and is too expensive.

Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel/ MCT /LANDOV

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that PARCC will take too long and is too expensive.

Gov. Rick Scott may join House and Senate leadership in opposing a multi-state test tied to Florida’s new math, English and literacy standards and designed to mostly replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, according to the Times/Herald Capitol Bureau.

The test, known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, has drawn criticism for requiring students to spend up 10 hours a year on testing. In some cases, students will spend twice as long on PARCC exams as on the FCAT.

Scott indicated Wednesday he may issue an executive order on the test:

“PARCC is too expensive and it takes too long,” Scott said. “So I’m looking at a variety of things, whether it’s an executive order, some administrative and some legislative, to try to fix that.”

Scott also said he would try to address what he called “too much federal involvement” — an overture to tea party groups who consider the new benchmarks and tests an example of federal overreach.

Scott’s remarks came one day after state Board of Education members blasted him for failing to provide clear direction on the standards and exams, which will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

The tests are tied to new standards, known as Common Core. The standards outline what students should know at the end of each grade. The new tests will take longer because they will include more complex questions which are meant to force students to think analytically.

But Common Core has been criticized for its quality and the cost of implementation. Critics also doubt the standards will improve schools in the 45 states which have fully adopted them.

Scott has previously said he supported the standards, but wouldn’t reiterate that support on Wednesday.

But former Gov. Jeb Bush, at a D.C. press conference, said Scott had told him he supported Common Core:

Asked Wednesday if he is concerned about Scott’s support potentially wavering, Bush said: “No. He told me he’s committed to Common Core.”

Bush, who has been a national advocate for the standards, confronted criticism of Common Core during an appearance in Washington, blasting it as “purely political.”

“If you’re comfortable with mediocrity, fine,” Bush said. “I’m not.”


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