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New Mexico Governor Signs Order to Dump PARCC Tests

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Only two days after taking office, the new governor of New Mexico on Thursday ordered the state education department to dump the PARCC test and find another way to measure student achievement and rate schools.

By signing an executive order, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, fulfilled a campaign promise to replace PARCC with another test. Teachers, administrators, parents, students and testing experts will be involved in the process of finding an alternative assessment, according to local news reports.

The governor signed a second order eliminating the use of PARCC to evaluate teachers, local media reported. The state will find a variety of other methods to use for teacher evaluations.

New Mexico students will probably take at least some parts of the PARCC test this spring, according to the Albuquerque Journal, but Gov. Lujan Grisham is aiming to have a new test in place by late summer 2019.

"This is a new day in New Mexico," Lt. Gov. Howie Morales said in a prepared statement. "We are going to change the culture at the Public Education Department, so New Mexicans know the state is there in support of our educators and students, not as a police department."

The death knell for PARCC in New Mexico came in the same week as a major setback for the exam in New Jersey.

On New Year's Eve, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that the state could not require students to pass PARCC in order to graduate from high school. Students in New Jersey will still take the PARCC test this spring, but won't have to pass it to get their diplomas.

PARCC, one of two common-core exams developed with $350 million in federal funds, was once widely embraced among states, but has now dwindled to just four—Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New Jersey—and the District of Columbia.


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