Tennessee House Delays PARCC Testing for One Year

The Nashville Post calls a recent 86-8 vote in the Tennessee House to delay PARCC testing by one year a small victory.  I agree it is small, has loopholes which may render this bill ineffective, and it provides another example of real change is being stonewalled often by Republican leadership.  Tennessee isn’t alone in having that problem with their legislature.

They couldn’t agree to even delaying the Common Core State Standards by two years so this is the compromise which still needs to be approved by the Senate.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

The governor’s office and Republican leadership would have rather the legislature leave the new standards alone, but say they support this plan.

“What has come out of this conversation is agreement that Tennessee should have higher standards,” said Alexia Poe, the governor’s director of communications. “This RFP process will ensure that everyone feels good about how we are testing those higher standards.”

A pack of House members made up the major opposition to Common Core and PARCC, short for the Partnership for Assessment in College and Career Readiness and the standardized test at the heart of the dispute. Members teamed with Democrats to seize an unrelated bill and install a two-year delay in the standards. Leaders in the Senate refused to go along.

Although the governor’s office and Republican leadership in both chambers initially rejected any move to budge on the standards and test, they came to a compromise that would keep the current TCAP tests in place for one more year while the state puts the new testing contract out for bid instead of accepting the PARCC exam without competition.

“We just blew it with this language,” said Rep. Rick Womick, a Rockvale Republican opposed to Common Core and the PARCC test. He argued the compromise created loopholes, such as allowing the state to eventually contract with PARCC.  “I’m sorry, but it’s nothing more than lipstick on a pig.”