Standardized Testing | News

Georgia Withdraws from PARCC

State School Superintendent John Barge and Governor Nathan Deal have announced that Georgia is withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium and plans to develop its own standardized tests.

The PARCC consortium has been working to develop K-12 assessments in English language arts and math based on the Common Core State Standards. The assessments are scheduled to be implemented for the 2014-15 school year.

After talking with district superintendents, administrators, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders, Barge and Deal concluded that the PARCC assessments are too expensive and their technology requirements are too high. According to a news release from the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), the PARCC assessments are estimated to cost significantly more money than Georgia currently spends on its entire testing program, and many districts don't have the equipment or bandwidth required to administer the assessments.

Instead of the PARCC assessments, the GaDOE plans to develops its own standardized tests in cooperation with educators across the state. The tests will be aligned to Georgia's current academic standards in math and English language arts for all grade levels. The GaDOE has also expressed interest in collaborating with other states.

According to a news release from the GaDOE, "creating the tests in Georgia will ensure that the state maintains control over its academic standards and student testing, whereas a common assessment would have prevented GaDOE from being able to adjust and rewrite Georgia’s standards when educators indicate revisions are needed to best serve students."

According to the GaDOE, the state's new assessments will:

  • Align with math and English language arts state standards;
  • Be high-quality and rigorous;
  • Test students in grades three through eight and high school;
  • Be reviewed by Georgia teachers;
  • Require less time to administer than the PARCC assessments;
  • Offer both computer- and paper-based formats; and
  • Include a variety of item types, such as performance-based and multiple-choice items.

Georgia's withdrawal from the PARCC consortium brings the number of participating states down to 21.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].