School districts from New Hampshire to Oregon are revolting against the coming Common Core tests.
Even as political leaders in both red and blue states continue to back away from the standards — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the latest example — the hottest battles have shifted to the local level, where education officials are staging public revolts against state and federal mandates to administer Common Core exams.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett this week announced she did not want students in the nation’s third-largest district to take the federally funded PARCC exam, which will debut next spring in 11 states, including Illinois.
Byrd-Bennett called the test “unproven” and said adding such a long exam to a year already crammed with standardized tests would be overwhelming to students, teachers and principals. The PARCC test takes nine to 11 hours, depending on a student’s grade level.
Her defiance was striking in a district that has long been viewed as a national leader in test-based accountability. It was also rich in symbolism because Chicago public schools were once run by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a huge cheerleader for both the Common Core and the new exams, developed with $370 million in federal funds.