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Why Didn’t PARCC Issue a Press Release About Skandera as Chair?

January 23, 2016

Be sure to see the update at the end.


David Connerty-Marin is the communications director for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  That’s his title on the PARCC web page. It is also his title according to his Linkedin bio and his Twitter page.

connerty-marin-e1453595486381  David Connerty-Marin

However, it seems that Connerty-Marin chose not to communicate a major change in the running of PARCC: the change in PARCC chair.

Up until November 2015, the PARCC chair was Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester.

Chester is no longer PARCC chair.

New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera is now PARCC chair.

And for some reason, PARCC communications director Connerty-Marin chose not to communicate this change. It is not mentioned on the PARCC Press Release page.

Also, the @PARCCPlace page mysteriously omits the change in the PARCC chair as well as the issue of Massachusetts board of ed choosing to create a MCAS-PARCC hybrid. Unlike the PARCC press release page, @PARCCPlace has had activity up to January 21, 2016. And like the PARCC press release page, @PARCCPlace includes an announcement of Louisiana’s, uh, “choosing” PARCC for “nearly half its test questions” (note: the 2015 La. legislature actually put a cap on the percentage of PARCC questions: 49 percent):

As one continues scrolling though November and December 2015 tweets @PARCCPlace, no mention of Massachusetts and its MCAS-PARCC hybrid, in the news on November 17, 2015, or the change from Chester to Skandera as PARCC chair– a decision hinted at in a November 12, 2015, PARCC press release.

A mystery.

On January 19, 2016, I was surprised to see that Skandera had replaced Chester as PARCC chair. I noticed that PARCC communications director Connerty-Marin had issued no press release– neither about Chester’s resigning as PARCC chair nor Skandera’s assuming the position. Furthermore, a January 19, 2016, Google search produced no media hits on either Chester’s stepping down as PARCC chair or Skandera’s appointment.

So, I wrote a post and surprised New Mexico with the news. In four days, the post has had almost 5,000 hits.

So, here are two looming questions:

Why didn’t Connerty-Marin do his job? And is it still his job?

Perhaps my readers might help me to find out the answers to those questions.

As it stands, two individuals have attempted to contact Connerty-Marin on Twitter (@dcmarin):

As of this writing, Connerty-Marin has been on Twitter since the time of three of the four tweets above, but no response.

I expect more out of a person with a hyphenated last name.

Perhaps he just needs to hear from more people.

Update 01-23-16 8:30 p.m. CST: On January 22, 2016, PARCC began advertising for a new communications director. The timing is interesting, to say the least: My post about Skandera as chair was published on January 19, 2016; the Albuquerque Journal picked up on the story on January 21, 2016, and the advertisement for a new PARCC communications director is also dated January 21, 2016. (My thanks to Becky McCullough for sending the job announcement my way.)

Here is the job announcement, as directed from the PARCC careers page (click images to enlarge):

PARCC com dir 1

PARCC com dir 2

PARCC com dir 3


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. I agree. It’s a question a few more people should ask. I’m going to do my part.

    • Peter, see my update. A reader sent me a job posting for a new PARCC com dir, dated Jan 21, 2016.

      • Man. They’re just bouncing from one failure to the next.

  2. I’m on it! inquiring minds want to know! Tell me David Connerty-Marin…Why was Massachusetts Commissioner Mitchell Chester “left behind!” Was it the magic words “Conflict of Interest” said by David McGeney, Peabody School Committee member! New Mexico take note!

  3. mercat45 permalink

    Oh, this just gets more interesting as time rolls on.

  4. Jindal, Pearson. and now PARCC. It must feel like 1969 Saigon for the reformniks. Far out!

    • In Vietnam it was called a “Quantitative Quagmire” — thirty years later McNamara finally said he
      was wrong.

  5. Old Teacher permalink

    So we have 15 years to go? God help us, no one else will.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. PARCC Website Changes Its Story on 2015 Louisiana Test and Misleads on 2016 Massachusetts Test | deutsch29
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