Arizona Withdraws From PARCC to Avoid Bias in Procuring New Tests

By Catherine Gewertz — May 30, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Arizona announced today that it is withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, since we have already reported that the state is undecided about its test plans for 2014-15, and is planning to issue a request for proposals for new tests.

The state issued a statement that wasn’t as clear as one might like, noting in one place that it was stepping down from its “governing” status in the consortium, and in another, that it would “withdraw.” That caused a bit of confusion; was Arizona downgrading its PARCC membership or dropping out altogether?

Stacey Morley, the state department of education’s director of policy development and government affairs, cleared that up for me right away.

“We are withdrawing totally,” she said when I called her.

The move is not a sign of lack of confidence in PARCC, she said. On the contrary, Morley said. Districts across the state have been field-testing the exam, and “it’s a really great test.”

But the state’s procurement code expects a competitive process for assessments, and to comply with that, Arizona will issue a request for proposals within a week or so, Morley said. It hopes to evaluate the responses and make a choice in the fall.

To ensure that the process is fair, state department staffers who have worked on the PARCC test will not participate in evaluating proposals, she said. But state leaders also thought it prudent to withdraw from the consortium altogether to avoid any perception of bias in the selection process.

PARCC is free to submit a bid along with other vendors, and Morley said that she hopes it does so.

“If the state does end up choosing PARCC, we don’t want there to be any basis for a possible challenge based on a perception of bias,” she said.

With Arizona’s withdrawal, the map below shows how assessment consortium membership stacks up. Keep in mind, however, that membership doesn’t tell the whole story of states’ assessment plans for 2014-15. EdWeek’s interactive map tells you about which states are actually planning to use PARCC, which plan to use Smarter Balanced, which have chosen other tests, and which are still undecided.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2021
In this Spotlight, review newest assessment scores, see how districts will catch up with their supports for disabled students, plus more.
Assessment 'Nation's Report Card' Has a New Reading Framework, After a Drawn-Out Battle Over Equity
The new framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress will guide development of the 2026 reading test.
10 min read
results 925693186 02
Assessment Opinion Q&A Collections: Assessment
Scores of educators share commentaries on the use of assessments in schools.
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
Assessment Standardized Tests Could Be in Jeopardy in Wake of Biden Decisions, Experts Say
Has the Biden administration shored up statewide tests this year only to risk undermining long-term public backing for them?
6 min read
Image of a test sheet.