Bob Beauprez: I’ll Withdraw Colorado from PARCC

Sep 22, 2014 by

Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez came out strongly for choices and local control over education in a conference call Wednesday evening. About 150 parents, educators, and citizens joined Beauprez and his lieutenant governor pick Jill Repella on the call to hear him explain his stance on education and the roles of states and the federal government.

Paul Lundeen, Chairman of the Colorado State Board of Education, kicked off the call with a timeline and an intimate look at how Colorado became embroiled in education controversy. He began in 2008 with passage of SB 08-212, or CAP4Kids, which called for Colorado to develop a set of educational standards. Under guidance from that bill, Colorado educators worked together to develop standards in 10 content areas.

The State Board formally adopted the Colorado Academic Standards in December 2009. Eight months later, the State Board narrowly voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards in math and language arts. Colorado Department of Education staff then integrated the changes from Common Core in those two subject areas.

While the standards had already been adopted, the State Board had refrained from joining a national testing consortium as required to receive Race to the Top grant money. Then in 2012, Gov. Hickenlooper signed HB12-1240, a bill that required Colorado’s participation in a national testing consortium.

Given only two effective choices, the State Board authorized Colorado to join Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). The standardized testing mechanism enforces compliance with Common Core math and language arts standards.

Lundeen acknowledged that the standards themselves shouldn’t have to drive classroom instruction. “Standards are not curriculum,” he said, “but when standards are linked to an assessment, they begin to control curriculum.”

HB12-1240 included the stipulation that Colorado could leave the PARCC consortium as soon as January 2014. Right now, an increasingly vocal movement of parents and educators is asking legislators to do just that. Leaving the consortium, Lundeen explained, requires three signatures: that of the commissioner of education, the chairman of the board of education, and the governor.

Despite public pressure, including a State Board resolution, Lundeen said that Gov. Hickenlooper will not sign a letter of withdrawal. As governor, Bob Beauprez promised participants in Wednesday’s call that he would sign the letter to withdraw Colorado from the testing consortium.

The PARCC test that students across Colorado will begin taking this year is criticized for being intrusive, expensive, and reducing classroom learning time.

via Bob Beauprez: I’ll Withdraw Colorado from PARCC | Watchdog Wire – Colorado.

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