MBAE will be issuing a strong call for making a one-test decision rather than taking what The Boston Globe today called the “politically expedient” hybrid option at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education later today. As we’ve said before, the Commissioner’s recommendation to put the student assessment decision on hold while developing a hybrid MCAS/PARCC test raises more questions than it answers.
MBAE Board Chairman Bill Walczak will tell the Board, “We cannot wait… As the state with the most knowledge-dependent economy in the country, that has spent longer than any other state field-testing PARCC, there is no evidence-based reason to delay action with an open-ended vote tomorrow.”
Observing that PARCC has addressed the Commonwealth’s concerns about “controlling our own destiny” in terms of test content and design, MBAE Board member and former chair of the BESE Advisory Council on Accountability and Assistance Joe Esposito says “incurring the significant cost of going it alone and not reaping the benefit of the PARCC work in which our state has participated would be an unnecessary price to pay.”
Eileen Rudden, an MBAE Board member, former technology executive and co-founder of LearnLaunch emphasizes “it is time to move to the next generation of assessment, in order to take advantage of technology to provide an assessment which does more to tap into the application of knowledge, and assess problem solving, critical thinking and writing” than MCAS.
Goodwin Procter attorney Henry Dinger, chair of the Board’s Policy Committee, concludes, “The Commonwealth cannot maintain its national lead in education by standing still. Making the best education decisions, regardless of political pressures, is the only way to provide equity for our children and continue to lead the nation.”