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The Arkansas state school board rejected Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) request to replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests with ACT Aspire earlier this month. Hutchinson is now defying the state school board by directing the Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key “to select a new assessment provider,” reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The basis of Hutchison’s stance is a clause in the Memorandum of Understanding that the state has with PARCC. From Hutchinson’s letter to Key:
“Recommitment to the Consortium
In the event that the governor or chief state school officer is replaced in a Consortium state, the successor in that office shall affirm in writing to the Governing Board Chair the State’s continued commitment to participation in the Consortium and to the binding commitments made by that official’s predecessor within five (5) months of taking office.”
Hutchinson continues to explain that he has not affirmed his intentions to continue with PARCC since becoming governor on January 13, 2015, and in fact has expressed the exact opposite approach, saying, “On the contrary, I have publicly expressed my support for withdrawing from PARCC.”
Hutchinson’s action will surely setup a confrontation with the state school board which has until July 1 to sign the contact for PARCC tests.