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PARCC: Still Trying to Hold Itself Together

August 6, 2017

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has a new website.

On May 02, 2017, one could still access the old link for the PARCC governing board (archived here)– the one listing Hanna Skandera as the PARCC governing board chair.

On July 02, 2017, the old PARCC governing board link was still active (archived here), but with DC superintendent, Hanseul Kang listed as chair. Skandera is still listed as New Mexico education superintendent, despite her having resigned effective June 20, 2017.

Interestingly, Skandera continues to be listed as NM ed sec on the new PARCC web page, now called, despite her “passing the reins” to NM deputy ed sec, Christopher Ruszkowski (Louisiana Teach for America executive director/state ed board member, Kira Orange-Jones’ husband).

The PARCC governing board on the revamped PARCC website is listed as follows:

If one clicks the link for Skandera, one reaches a generic NM ed dept page.

Another link on revamped PARCC takes one to the “states and organizations” page— which is written in such a way to convey the misleading message that even states that are only purchasing PARCC items are certainly *taking the test*:

In the 2016-2017 school year, students in Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) will take the test.

Note that Louisiana is included as “taking the test”; however, the term “PARCC” is not even mentioned on this summary of Louisiana’s 2016-17 assessments. Not to worry, though, notes PARCC on its “assessment options” page— which includes cautions about comparability as part of an incomplete graphic presented at the top of the page. However, I preserved the PARCC testing options caveat in this November 2015 post.

The bottom line is that there is no “the test” PARCC comparison for Louisiana’s assessments using PARCC items since the 2015 Louisiana legislature voted to limit 2015-16 PARCC items to just under half of any Louisiana assessment content (see Act 342).

However, PARCC continues to try to plug along. Never mind that as of this August 2017 writing, its most recent press release is from December 2016, and its most recent featured news item is dated March 17, 2017.

And its official vendor, Pearson (still identified in graphic on the “assessment options” page) continues to shed thousands of employees in the name of *restructuring.*

PARCC and Pearson: Both floundering.



Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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  1. Hello Mercedes,

    Thanks for the tip. The website you link us to tells us that yet another new nonprofit corporate entity has been contracted to manage PARCC. Presumably, the governing board will be the “face” of PARCC, while the new New Meridian Corporation ( ) will do most of the work. New Meridian seems to have a Louisiana (Baton Rouge Area Foundation) connection.


  2. Lisa M permalink

    I’m from MD and would LOVE to see the Pretty Awful & Ridiculous Common Core test (also referred to as the CCRAP by students) just go away. I REFUSE the test for my 2 children every year (except ALG I and ELA 10…which are graduation requirements). The ONLY good thing about so few states still carrying on with this nonsense, is that the bogus test scores are now available at the end of August instead of at the end of November. When will the State of MD think about this awful union they have with this horrible company and about how much money flows to PARCC instead of into our classrooms. Starve the beast and REFUSE the test (we have NO opt out in MD and have to resort to civil disobedience).

  3. Hi Mercedes,
    Thanks for this update on PARCC. Here’s the latest from California and problems with SmarterBalanced:

    It appears UC Santa Cruz has picked up the role of fiscal agent for the consortium after UCLA dropped its three year contract this past June:

    I still don’t understand how SBAC can legally claim to be a “public agency” yet be in apparent violation of the Brown Act without regular open/publicly held meetings, communicated agendas, or systematic opportunities for public review or critique of processes, budgets, or governance. This is the most recent document I could find of their governing board procedures:

    I wonder what the latest reports are from the various subcommittees (esp. the Performance Audit Committee) and why they are not made available to the public. The “contact” page on the main SBAC website directs community members to each respective Local Education Agency for questions and there doesn’t appear to be any mechanism for public oversight.

  4. Linda permalink

    Flounder photo- great addition.

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