Those of you who are wonky enough to like keeping super-close track of who's dating whom in the assessment-consortium world will be interested to know that Pennsylvania has decided to withdraw from both groups.
We heard this news last week while attending the Council of Chief State School Officers' annual assessment conference. Senior officials in both the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, told me that Pennsylvania has notified them by email that it plans to withdraw. Assessment folks attending another gathering recently also reported that top Keystone State officials had mentioned the state's withdrawal there, as well.
Pennsylvania officials have not returned my calls or emails asking for confirmation. But, as I said, both consortia told me that they had received notification of the state's decision.
Pennsylvania had never been fully on board with either consortium. It has been only a "participating" or "advisory" state in each group, meaning that it could participate in discussions, but had no voting power, and had never committed to using the assessment systems that were being designed.
With this latest news, our map of assessment consortium membership now looks like this: