Lawmaker Says Council Won't Approve PARCC Test Renewal

Jun 12, 2015

Republican State Rep. Mark Lowery says the Arkansas legislative council will block a renewal of the PARCC test, which must be complete by July.  

On Thursday the State Board of Education voted against approving a contract with ACT, and elected to continue with PARCC while the state considers options. According to Lowery, the Arkansas Legislative Council has already denied an emergency review of next year’s contract for the Common Core tied PARCC test. 

“It’s a very disappointing decision, especially in light of the amount of scrutiny the task force looked at on this issue, the fact that it was recommendations by both the governor, the Lt. governor and the task force. But the legislature is prepared to put this back to a situation where ACT Aspire would have to be recognized,” he said.  

Earlier in the week, Governor Asa Hutchinson called for a switch from PARCC, implemented this academic year, to the ACT, following recommendations of the Common Core task force.

Rep. Lowery sponsored legislation earlier this year to end the use of PARCC which failed. The legislature instead passed a bill requiring annual review of PARCC. According to Lowery, PARCC is unpopular among constituents and the legislative council won’t approve it for another year.

State Board of Education members say they want a competitive bidding process for any changes to the state’s assessment system. The state must approve PARCC for another year by a July deadline.

The task force is set to issue full preliminary recommendations on various aspects of Common Core this summer.