Louisiana's Education Department is warning against a bill in the state legislature to defund a Common Core-linked standardized test, saying it would affect nearly all testing in the state, including the ACT college readiness exam and Advanced Placement exams.
Signs are raised during the Hoosiers Against Common Core rally at the Statehouse, Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Kelly Wilkinson)
“It would create academic chaos in 2014 and potentially in future years as well,” says a memo from Bill Morrison, assistant superintendent for the Education Department’s Office of Assessment to Superintendent of Education John White.
The state House appropriations committee was set to discuss the bill Monday, according to the Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The main test in question, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, abbreviated PARCC, is used in 16 states, and is "aligned" with the Common Core State Standards.
In the memo, Morrison said the problem with the legislation is that the defunding would apply to “any other equivalent national group or consortium unless specifically authorized by law.”
“The bill would prevent the Department of Education from providing assurances to the education system of tests to be administered the following school year until the legislative session was concluded in June,” the memo continues. “This means that teachers would leave school every year without knowing the tests students would take the following year.”
The test is one part of Common Core, the math and English standards adopted by 44 states plus the District of Columbia. The standards were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. Several states have begun to review the implementation of Common Core, while Indiana recently repealed the standards.
Common Core is scheduled to take full effect for the 2014-15 school year for Louisiana and the tests are set to be given in spring 2015, the Advocate reported. State Rep. Brett Geymann, a Republican, has been the leading opponent of the tests, and said his bill is about bringing more transparency.
“It is not going to cause chaos,” Geymann said, according to the Advocate. “If it is that good, if PARCC is the best test, then we shouldn’t be afraid of having the sun shine on it."