Superintendents push White to drop PARCC
BATON ROUGE - A committee made of Louisiana public school superintendents pushed state education officials to drop the PARCC exam Thursday, calling it "toxic" in the current political environment.
The Superintendents' Advisory Council told Superintendent of Education John White that the political fight over PARCC was distracting them from actually teaching kids effectively.
The test, which is called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is being administered this week for the first time in Louisiana as part of the Common Core education standards rollout. The exam has become a focal point for criticism and concerns about Common Core among parents and politicians.
The board said they were wasting too much time and too many resources dealing with these concerns, and they would be better off switching to a different Common Core-aligned test. Council Vice-President Hollis Milton called the PARCC problem a "branding" issue, saying he supported the continued rollout of Common Core standards in Louisiana.
Groups opposed to PARCC and Common Core organized efforts through social media to have parents opt their children out of the exam this week. Chas Roemer, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, reported around parents of around 4,000 students across the state opted them out of the taking the test, which is around one percent of eligible students.
Governor Bobby Jindal announced a package of bills Wednesday intended to end the state's involvement with Common Core. The bills would also strip BESE of some powers to set standards, make contracts and be involved in education organizations, giving those powers to the Legislature instead.