Aug 5, 2013 by

Assessments cast as weak link

By Andrew Ujifusa

Having failed to persuade lawmakers in any state to repeal the Common Core State Standards outright, opponents are training their fire on the assessments being developed to go with the standards and due to be rolled out for the 2014-15 school year.

They’re using as ammunition concerns about costs and the technology required for those tests, in addition to general political opposition to the common core. A few states—including Georgia, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania—have already chosen to limit or end their participation in the assessments under development by two federally funded consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Legislators in Kansas, where a common-core repeal bill failed this year, may ultimately allow districts to pick their own assessments instead of requiring them to use what will be provided by Smarter Balanced, said Mark Tallman, an associate executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards.

“I think there’s a real good chance the tests could be targeted,” he said.


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