Response to today’s conversation

Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog had a range of reactions to the announcement that Georgia will drop out of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) — a consortium developing new tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards — because of the high cost of the new tests. Instead, the state will develop its own tests based on the standards, perhaps in conjunction with other states. Here is a sampling of comments:

Colonel Jack: Wow. A glimmer of good sense from the GaDOE. I can die now. … I've seen everything.

Man: So what will be considered A-plus work in Georgia will be the equivalent of a C-minus in the rest of the United States. Wake me up when we finally hit the bottom.

Christie: The estimated price tag for testing has been known for a couple of years now. State officials knew what the ballpark range was going to be — somewhere between $28 and $32 per kid per test. So, why did they (state officials) move to implement Common Core State Standards when they knew back then that the state would not pay that much for the assessments? If they weren't willing to spend the money for Common Core assessments, why bother going to Common Core at all?

Mangler: Why would we want to be compared to other states, or other nations for that matter? This way, none of that will matter. Wonder if Tech and UGA will lower their admission standards to let Georgia students in once they fail to be able to compete with students from Mississippi or Zimbabwe?

Dacula: This might explain why my straight-A student scores "exceeds" on the CRCT but bombs on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, a national test. It's hard to have faith in the public school system when all of the parent-teacher conferences are great, the grades are outstanding, the CRCT scores are good, and the child and her equally skilled friends are all bombing the ITBS.

Mamc: What are you going to call the new test that Georgia creates? The GRA: Georgia Redneck Assessment.

Ed Dawg: Two thoughts here. 1. The PARCC is very expensive and serves as another example of how textbook and testing companies are influencing education in this country. 2. This price serves as just another example of how cuts in education for the decade have and are negatively affecting our state's competitiveness.

Motheroftwins: I think that Common Core is probably good for education across the U.S., particularly in states that have not done a very good job of educating their students. However, our governor is making a good decision to wait to implement Common Core testing. Georgia is moving in the right direction, but we're not there yet. Phasing in higher standards is a smart move.

Stands: OK, I've tried to learn a bit about this decision. I heard the story on NPR and read a few news items. And then I got to this comment on the blog: "Oh yeah, this has got yee-haw written all over it." I fear I must concur.

Mawill: I just started Day One of my three-day training on preparing for the upcoming school year, with the emphasis on the PARCC assessment. I wonder what will be the focus the next two days, since the assessment has changed. The money the district spent on the national assessment presenter is now wasted. Our district just spent over $60,000 to adopt books for the high school so we can be better prepared for the PARCC assessment. I wonder if we can get a refund. When I went in the office, the secretary asked, "Are the books going to be used, or are they going to sit under the table like the Math 1 books?"

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