Tennessee lawmakers discuss Common Core compromise plan
Posted April 13, 2014 at 8:07 p.m., updated April 14, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.
PHOTO BY ERIK SCHELZIG
“I think we all agree that there should be more opportunity to consider alternatives to PARCC, or at least to put PARCC out for bid,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
NASHVILLE — State lawmakers are considering compromise legislation that would delay the testing component for Tennessee’s Common Core education standards for one year.
Last month, a broad coalition of Republican and Democratic House members passed a bill seeking to delay further implementation of the new standards for two years. It also seeks to delay the testing component for the standards for the same amount of time.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports legislative leaders are discussing a compromise that would delay testing for a year.
As things now stand, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests are scheduled to begin statewide in the school year that begins in August.
“I think we all agree that there should be more opportunity to consider alternatives to PARCC, or at least to put PARCC out for bid,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville. “There shouldn’t be a rush to implementation on that, and I think that’s what the consensus will be.”
Under the proposal, the state Department of Education would put out a “request for proposals” for alternative testing. The state’s current testing program, known as TCAP, would continue in the interim.
Tea party-aligned officials and candidates want to delay the standards or abandon them altogether in at least a dozen of the 45 states that adopted some part of the guidelines. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last month signed the first Common Core repeal to make it through a legislature.
In Tennessee, proposals to do away with the standards and their assessment component failed in a House subcommittee last month. Tennessee adopted the standards in 2010 and began a three-year phase-in the following year.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is among supporters who say the standards — developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers — are needed to better prepare students for the future. They’re intended to provide students with the critical thinking, problem-solving and writing skills needed for college and the workforce.