- Of PARCC’s original 24 members, just 12 remain and three don’t plan to give the PARCC test this year. A fourth, Louisiana, is barred from using most of it thanks to a school board vote. These shifts threaten the survival of the consortium, financially and politically.
- As more states leave the consortium and the number of students taking the test drops from 10 million a year ago to less than 5.5 million, the testing cost per student to PARCC is likely to go up.
- Scoring tests could also prove more expensive than projected and some states remain on the fence — Massachusetts, for example, will decide on a single statewide test this year and political pressures are working against PARCC.
So what’s next for the testing consortium? For one, it might be rescued by falling test development costs. PARCC’s tests are officially up and running, and the consortium must now only add fresh test items every so often. And one testing expert told Education Week that, as controversy over the tests and the Common Core in general dies down, more states may join or rejoin the consortium.
The consortium could also grow to include a new set of members: private and parochial schools, the Bureau of Indian Education, and other education entities. But that could test the limits of collaboration in a group originally designed to be run by states. And, while PARCC has committed to keeping prices reasonable, the balance between cost and price could be upset, leading to additional political pressure to scrap the consortium.