Rhode Island drops unpopular standardized test system

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island education officials are adopting new standardized tests modeled after a successful New England neighbor's system and ending the state's relationship with a widely unpopular test that has been abandoned by multiple states in the past year.

The Department of Education announced it has decided to adopt the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS test, which the Bay State has administered for nearly 20 years.

The Providence Journal (http://bit.ly/2oc06Fy ) reports the modified version of the MCAS will incorporate questions from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career or PARCC, a test that educators and parents have criticized as too difficult and time-consuming.

With Rhode Island's dismissal of the test, only six U.S. states will now administer it as a standard.

Democratic state Rep. Gregg Amore told the Journal he's pleased about Rhode Island adopting the new testing system, citing Massachusetts' consistently high standardized test scores. State education experts also praised the move but cautioned that it could place a new burden on school districts that already have trouble meeting current education standards.

Rhode Island has been interested Massachusetts' education system, passing legislation last year to study how the state remained at the top of student performance charts for a decade.


Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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