Tennessee may end up spending even more to test students at the end of the year under new national Common Core standards. Estimated costs for the new testing came out this week, and some states are making other plans.
Currently, Tennessee spends between $40 – $50 million a year to test students for the purposes of monitoring improvement. The new test that will be given in more than 20 states – known as PARCC – will be on the high end of that range, says state Education Department spokeswoman Kelli Gauthier. But she argues the cost is still relatively low.
“Assessment spending – both with what we’re currently spending and what we estimate on PARCC – still represents well under one percent of Tennessee’s overall spending on education.”
The additional cost of the Common Core test is driving at least one state to develop its own. Georgia only spends about $10 per student right now. The PARCC test would have bumped that average to nearly $30.
The PARCC exam is scheduled to replace the TCAP in Tennessee beginning in spring of 2015. The tests are intended to be taken on a computer. There’s an extra charge if schools still have to use paper and pencil.