Louisiana’s Common Core test will be offered in Spanish

Sep 19, 2014 by

Louisiana schools will be able to administer the new Common Core standardized test in Spanish as well as English this March.

State schools Superintendent John White said the test — called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC for short — can be given in Spanish to newly arrived immigrants who are still learning English for the first two years they are enrolled in school. Then, the students must switch to the English version of the assessment.

Some Louisiana school districts have recently seen an influx of immigrant students, mostly from Central America. The federal government placed over 1,200 children in Louisiana homes after they were picked up trying to cross into the United States along the southern border. The children are awaiting deportation hearings, which could take over a year to schedule.

Jefferson Parish had seen the largest increase in Spanish-speaking students, with over 500 new pupils. But Orleans, St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge and Lafayette have also been affected.

Louisiana’s previous standardized test did not have a Spanish option. While it has been common for states with large immigrant populations, like New York or California, to offer standardized tests in Spanish, developing a Spanish translation would have been expensive for a small state like Louisiana, White said.

Louisiana was able to have a Spanish version of the PARCC test because PARCC is being administered across several states, making the cost of the Spanish translation cheaper for all states to develop. If PARCC wasn’t a multiple-state test, it’s likely there wouldn’t be a Spanish standardized test offered in Louisiana, White said.

But PARCC has been controversial, in part, because it is being given across several states. Common Core critics, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, have said the assessment doesn’t reflect Louisiana’s cultural values as much as it does of more northern, liberal states.

via Louisiana’s Common Core test will be offered in Spanish | NOLA.com.

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