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Indiana Could Back Out of Common-Core Tests

On the heels of Alabama's withdrawal from common tests, and questions about participation hanging over Michigan and Florida, Indiana is now saying it might pull out of the shared assessments as well.

In an interview yesterday with our Michele McNeil, Indiana's new superintendent of public instruction, Glenda Ritz, said she would like to see her state develop its own tests, rather than use the ones being developed by the PARCC consortium. Indiana is a governing state in that consortium. And as we've already reported to you, legislation is sitting on the Indiana governor's desk that would "pause" implementation of the common standards there.

Elsewhere in the country, there has been a cluster of technology problems that have disrupted computer-based tests. My colleagues Andrew Ujifusa at the State EdWatch blog and Sean Cavanagh at the Digital Education blog have the details for you. Those disruptions wouldn't exactly be a confidence-booster as the two federally funded assessment consortia build tests that will be entirely computer-based.

As we've reported, there's been a recent uptick in testing opposition, from the student level on up. Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy shares his analysis of this on his "Top Performers" opinion blog for Education Week. Note the strong disagreements with his thinking in the comments section of his blog post, as well. And just yesterday, AFT President Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on any high-stakes consequences from common-core tests until teachers are fully up to speed and able to teach revised curriculum for them.

Academic testing has been divisive for a good long time. With so much money and so many people's futures riding on this new wave of tests, those divisions bear close watching.

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