Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Gov. Pence Signals Intent To Withdraw From Common Core Testing PARCC

    Gov. Mike Pence, standing with his wife Karen, speaks at the 'Ed Reform Rocks' rally at the Indiana Statehouse.

    Brandon Smith / IPBS

    Gov. Mike Pence says his office has sent a letter to the PARCC governing board signaling an intent to withdraw from the Common Core testing consortium Aug. 12.

    Indiana plans to withdraw from PARCC, one of two national consortia designing standardized tests to align to the Common Core.

    Gov. Mike Pence Monday sent a letter to the PARCC governing board signaling Indiana’s intent to withdraw. Earlier this spring Pence signed HB 1427 into law, mandating a review of new academic standards known as the Common Core. In a statement, the governor pointed to that legislation as reason for Indiana curtail its participation in PARCC.

    “I support the legislative intent of HEA 1427 and firmly believe it is the right and responsibility of the state to make independent, fiscally responsible decisions regarding standards and assessments for the good of all the people of Indiana,” says Pence.

    A spokesperson for State Superintendent Glenda Ritz told StateImpact the Indiana Department of Education also plans to send a letter to PARCC in the coming weeks. It takes the signature of both the governor and the state superintendent to leave the consortium.

    Indiana has been scaling back participation in PARCC since the Common Core pause legislation passed. In recent weeks, an increasing number of states have announced plans to leave PARCC.

    With Indiana’s impending departure, that means just 17 states will remain. PARCC has received federal funding contingent on a minimum of 15 states participating.

    UPDATE: 5:32 p.m.: A spokesperson for the governor says the plan is to withdraw entirely from PARCC, not just exit the governing board as the press release initially stated.

    UPDATE, 2:57 p.m.: Pence says he believes education is a “state and local function” and that pulling back from PARCC is the right decision.

    “I do believe that not only stepping away from the PARCC exam itself but also with the consortium is appropriate,” Pence told Indiana Public Broadcasting. “It is also an affirmation of the direction we’ve been given from the Indiana General Assembly.”

    Massachusetts Education Commissioner and PARCC Governing Board Chairman Mitchell Chester says he hasn’t seen the letter from Gov. Pence yet.


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