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Assessment Consortia: Kentucky Makes Its Choice

It's been pretty quiet for a while in the world of assessment-consortium membership. But if you're wonky enough to enjoy following who's signed up with which testing consortium, you'll be interested to know that Kentucky has made its choice: PARCC.

Kentucky has been one of the few remaining polygamous states—states that have been participating in both consortia, without a commitment. But quietly, in late February, it decided to withdraw from the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and belong only to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

This decision was made by Commissioner Terry Holliday, in consultation with department of education staff, according to department spokeswoman Lisa Gross.

Now that it belongs only to one consortium, Kentucky may become a "governing" state, able to have a voice in test design and other important matters. States that belong to both consortia—"participating states"—may get involved in discussions, but have no voice in policy and design.

With Kentucky's move, 27 states are in SMARTER Balanced (see their states here), and 24, plus the District of Columbia, are in PARCC (their state list is here).

Only five still belong to both: Alabama, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. And five belong to neither consortium: the states that haven't adopted the common core (Texas, Virginia, Alaska and Nebraska) and Minnesota, which adopted them only in English/language arts.

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