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A List of Louisiana State Leaders Involved in PARCC

December 11, 2014

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) website still carries this outdated webpage on Louisiana’s connection to the Partnership for Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC). For example, it includes the statement,

1. Our students can demonstrate that they are on par with their peers across the country, through scores that are comparable across 19 states.

In order for “scores to be comparable across 19 states,” there would have to be 19 states in the PARCC consortium. There are not. Only ten states plus DC are administering the official, Pearson-PARCC common assessments, and Louisiana is not among them.

Common assessment comparison is not possible if a state is not participating in the common assessment.

In fact, according to Louisiana’s extended, temporary No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver, Louisiana will be alone in administering spring 2015 assessments supposedly involving “PARCC-consortium-developed items.”

In trying to understand the Mystery of Louisiana 2015 Assessments Created Using a Plethora of PARCC Items, I wrote this post about twelve small contracts that LDOE has with Louisiana Teacher Leaders for the development of test items.

One teacher leader responded that the contracts are for Louisiana EAGLE items.

A Facebook commenter to my blog post asked if those EAGLE items could be repackaged for the Louisiana assessments that are supposedly PARCC tests even though Louisiana is not contracted to Pearson for the PARCC common assessments, which is the entire point of a PARCC consortium.

In the absence of none of that now-comical “clarity” that Louisiana Superintendent John White avoids like a disease, I responded that I thought items could be reused.

White is responsible for providing the public with updated information. He should start with the LDOE web pages on PARCC.

I would gladly publish the details of from where, exactly, those “PARCC-consortium-developed items” Louisiana is supposed to use in its solo “PARCC” assessments will come. Details. As in from which people in what states and for what remuneration.

In the absence of such details, I have been sleuthing as much information as is possible and presenting it to the public.

So, here comes some more.

The outdated LDOE web page linked above includes the following statement:

3. Our state’s educators have been involved in test development, including item reviews and policy making.

“Involved in test development” does not necessarily mean item writing.

Sure enough, this September 26, 2013, listing of Louisiana Educators Involved in Development of PARCC reads heavy on supervision and review and light on any notable number of people writing items.

Lots of “development,” though– and White did tell USDOE that the surreal, non-common Louisiana PARCC substitute assessments would be comprised of “PARCC-consortium-developed items.”

LDOE also continues to offer this outdated Power Point that states PARCC is comprised of 17 states and will be administered on computers. It also states that “thousands of teachers across PARCC states are helping develop PARCC and review questions to ensure the yield meaningful information” and that “every item on PARCC will be reviewed by at least 30 experts.”

It sure would be nice if LDOE would “yield meaningful information” on where Louisiana’s “PARCC” questions originate. Then again, the Power Point above clearly assumes that all PARCC states will come together for a single set of common assessments– not a set of common assessments and a Louisiana “PARCC” appendage.

Leave it to John White to create a common assessment appendage– and a nebulous one, at that.

In Louisiana’s NCLB waiver extension, White did not write that these “PARCC-consortium-developed-items” would come from Louisiana, and he did not write who, exactly, would produce the Lone Ride Louisiana “PARCC” test items.

He did not write whether such items would be “gently used” by some PARCC consortium state, and he did not write that the items would not come from a state that once was but is no longer a PARCC consortium state. (You know, items collecting dust in some state DOE assessment closet.)

Perhaps some of the individuals on the PARCC development list might read this post and offer details on the origin of those non-common-assessment “PARCC-consortium-developed items.”

Meanwhile, districts across the state wonder what to expect in spring 2015 when that testing window rolls around.

Nothing like test-driven reform under John White to leave Alice slow to recuperate from eating that mushroom.

UPDATE 12-13-14:

See this post on Pearson’s role in PARCC since 2011.


Like my writing? Read my ed “reform” whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education

  1. Related to this post, our teacher leaders have said they are making items for Eagle. I could see them being used for the fake PARCC though.

    Related to a previous post, this was in the Monroe News Star:
    “According to the Department of Education, Louisiana’s students will be tested using PARCC questions administered by the DRC, which has a licensing agreement with Pearson.” I did not think that we knew anything of any agreement between DRC and Pearson. Just wanted your feedback. Thanks.

    • EP, Pearson must have given DRC some permission since Pearson is redirecting La callers to DRC “to test PARCC” on the Pearson-PARCC site. However, Pearson is not likely handing over its tests or items to DRC. For one, the NewsStar article only refers to “PARCC items,” not “PARCC assessments.” Then, there is the NCLB waiver renewal language of “PARCC-consortium-developed items,” and the Pearson-PARCC contract states that Pearson is developing its items and allowing PARCC committee “review.” And there was this in the Advocate on 12-07-14:

      “White said then that, based on the judge’s ruling, the state would proceed with plans to test students in grades 3-8 linked to questions from a consortium known as PARCC, and using a state contract with Data Recognition Corp.”

      So, once again, the bottom line is Louisiana is not tied to the official Pearson-PARCC common assessments.

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