Alabama Pulls Out of PARCC and SBAC

Edweek reported late Friday that Alabama has pulled out of both testing consortia that it was involved in.

In an email to EdWeek, the state’s assessment director, Gloria Turner, confirmed that Alabama has bowed out of both the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. She said the department of education “has decided to go in another direction,” but didn’t offer any more detail.

The move wasn’t yet official within the two consortia, since the requisite processes haven’t yet been completed. The decision leaves PARCC with 22 members and Smarter Balanced with 24.

Alabama, you might recall, has been one of the dwindling number of states that have been playing “participating,” or “advisory” roles in each consortium. That means the state has been a part of discussions, but hasn’t had voting power. It also hasn’t had to choose one or the other group, which a state must do when it becomes a “governing” member of a consortium, with the accompanying voting power.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley who sits as President of the State Board of Education offered a resolution that would have repealed the Common Core back in the fall of 2011.  Unfortunately it lost on a 6-3 vote with Governor Bentley, Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters all voting in favor of rescinding the standards.

Unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily indicate that they will withdraw from using the standards.  They just won’t use these assessments.