Putting Education Reform To The Test

Gov. Scott’s Education Summit Participants Objected To Scott Targeting PARCC

Gov. Rick Scott has asked that Florida give up its duties managing PARCC's money.

Governor Rick Scott/Stacy Ferris/flickr

Gov. Rick Scott has asked that Florida give up its duties managing PARCC's money.

Yesterday Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order stating his desire that Florida ends its role handling the money for a consortium of states developing a new test tied to Common Core State Standards.

The test is known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

It’s the first action on education Scott has taken since his quickly-organized three-day education summit in August.

Summit participants had a chance to sign off on a version of Scott’s executive order condemning PARCC and declined.

That language appeared the first afternoon as the third of seven “guiding principles” submitted by Scott’s office as a starting point for discussion. It read:

“Currently, the PARCC assessment will require an excessive amount of testing time, will be too expensive, and has been marked by overreaches from the federal government into education policy. Any assessment solution must account for these deficiencies.”

But immediately those at the summit objected. (Check out the real-time record of the debate here.)

Instead, the summit settled for this more general principle which didn’t mention PARCC at all:

“Florida’s new assessment must be aligned to Florida’s new standards and should provide meaningful results in a timely manner regarding student mastery of content. It should consider testing time, comparability with other states, expense and excessive involvement by the federal government.”

But here’s the relevant section from Scott’s executive order yesterday:

“Whereas, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments, as designed today, do not meet the needs of our students or the expectations of state leaders in their cost effectiveness, length of testing time, prescriptive computer-based testing requirements, and excessive involvement by the United States Department of Education;”

Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said Scott told her to listen to suggestions at the summit.

Scott and Stewart left open the possibility that PARCC could still bid to become Florida’s next assessment. Scott set forth eight bullet-point requirements for PARCC in his order. PARCC could meet all of those requirements except for “ensures testing time is not significantly different from current assessments.”

We still don’t know if a Florida-designed exam or a “shelf” test from SAT, ACT or another firm could meet the requirements in Scott’s executive order.


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