Massachusetts' Rejection of the Common Core Seen as a Bellwether for States' Attitudes

TURN TAIL: Dr. Mitchell Chester has been of the most vocal supporters of the Common Core Standards since 2009. Last week, his recommendation swayed the Massachusetts State Board of Education to ditch the PARCC test, a keystone of the standards, in favor of one of Massachusetts' own design. Why?

His state wants the flexibility of a single-state test and the ability to compare the results with other states, but it doesn't want the federal PARCC assessments, the New York Times reports. Massachusetts will devise its own test over the next year.

Massachusetts has long been a leader in educational reform and adopted statewide standards twenty years before the Common Core. As more states and Washington, DC debate the use of the PARCC and Smarter Balanced tests, Massachusetts' departure is seen as a turning point in states' acceptance of the assessments. A proposed ballot initiative in the state would eliminate the Common Core altogether. 

Support for the Common Core is weakening, with only five of an original 26 committed to the PARCC tests and 15 of 31 still on board for the Smarter Balanced tests.

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