Tennessee lawmakers who have railed against education standards known as the Common Core are targeting its test. Thousands of teachers have already been trained on Common Core, but the test, known as PARCC, won’t be underway until next school year.
Lawmakers in many states have proposed backing out of Common Core, but at this point that might not be realistic in Tennessee. There are also bills that would keep the state out of the test that comes with it.
“If you cut off PARCC, you pretty-much kill Common Core, too,” says Republican Frank Niceley. One of Niceley’s complaints about PARCC—shared by some Democrats—is that the test can be expensive to implement.
“PARCC is the testing that’s going to cost the state money… The way I look at it, the whole thing is just a ruse to get more money out of the taxpayers.”
Backers of PARCC argue it’s needed, so Tennessee can compare apples-to-apples results against other states. And they say if school districts lack computers to do the testing, the state has a contract for paper-and-pencil tests instead. Even so, several bills targeting PARCC—and Common Core—are headed to the House education subcommittee this week.