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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) chose to replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Common Core aligned tests with ACT tests, beginning in the 2015–16 school year. This change was recommended by the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette headlined the news with “Governor: ACT a trusted gauge of student learning.” Further remarks by Hutchinson in further explaining the decision said, “I want to make sure we maintain high standards for education in Arkansas and high expectations … Secondly, I want to make sure that we are able to measure progress and results, and that there is a level of transparency for the public and for the state – those who have a need to understand how the students are performing. And, finally, we want to make sure we can compare where we are in Arkansas with other states.”
In The Heartland Institute’s publication Replacing Common Core with Proven Standards of Excellence by David Anderson, Ph.D., the author identified the ACT test as a potential solution stating, “There is, however, a well respected, non-governmental alternative set of standards and tests that does not require a federally imposed curriculum or testing. We propose states, local educators, private schools, homeschools, tutors, and anyone interested in academic performance levels of students K–12 education use ACT standards and tests.”
Other states already use the ACT tests with several others currently discussing their use.
In what was called a “surprising rebuke,” as reported by Ed Week, the state school board voted down Hutchinson’s testing switch 7–1. Arkansas will be continuing with PARCC for this coming school year.