Rhode Island Rejects PARCC for PARCC Hybrid

Rhode Island is ditching PARCC.

The Providence Journal reports:

Rhode Island is abandoning a controversial standardized test called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career for the exam that Massachusetts has successfully used for nearly 20 years.

Rep. Gregg Amore, D-East Providence, chairman of the House Finance Committee’s education subcommittee, confirmed Thursday that the Rhode Island Department of Education has decided to adopt the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which the Bay State administers to measure student achievement.

In high school, 10th graders will take the popular SAT or PSAT. Many states have adopted the college entrance exams in high school because they are well-respected by students, parents and teachers and because they are widely used as part of the college admissions process.

First, they are still using PARCC; this test is a hybrid of the old MCAS and PARCC. I posted on this when Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester made the following recommendations.

  • Award a new MCAS contract to include a next-generation assessment for English language arts and math using both PARCC items and items specific to Massachusetts;
  • Commit to computer-based state assessments with the goal of implementing this statewide by spring 2019;
  • Remain a member of the PARCC consortium to have access to high-quality assessment development while sharing costs with other states and to be able to compare next-generation MCAS results with those of other states’ assessments; and
  • Convene groups of K-12 teachers, higher education faculty and assessment experts to advise ESE on the content, length and scheduling of statewide tests; testing policies for students with disabilities and for English language learners; the requirements for the high school competency determination (currently the 10th grade MCAS); and the timeline for reinstating a history and social science test.

MCAS 2.0 is not the quality pre-2011 MCAS that was part of reforms that led to Massachusetts leading the nation in K-12 education. Until Rhode Island abandons Common Core, they will never have a quality assessment. The Every Student Succeeds Act requires alignment between a state’s assessment and academic standards.

I also wouldn’t get excited about the new requirement for 10th graders to take the new Common Core-aligned SAT and PSAT.