Educators were shocked and probably a little relieved that Governor Rock Scott pulled out of PARCC last week.  Many are uneasy about this test because it is extremely rigorous and, quite frankly, a number of our students are not ready for this test.  If you thought the FCAT was a doozy, check out some sample PARCC items here.  Click around on the different grade levels on the left menu once you get there.

Anyway, Scott touted himself as upholding the constitution by saying he would “end the federal intrusion in education policy.” Scott also wrote in his order. “Federal government has no constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida.”

The real situation is that other testing companies were not happy that Scott and the State of Florida handed PARCC, made by Pearson and ETS, 186 million dollars, especially since the project never even went to bid.  That is incredible; Lee County Schools makes administrators call for at least three bids for anything over $1000.00.  The fact that 186 million was handed to Pearson and ETS without even shopping around first is crazy!

So, this means Harcourt and College Board and other testing companies did not get a chance to get in on the action.  Just so everyone knows, College Board makes the SAT, PSAT, CLEP and all the AP tests, and their political lobby is HUGE.  They don’t mess around and if you want to be re-elected, you need College Board.  Otherwise, they will crush you and find a candidate that will help their bottom line.

Hmmmmm.  It is strange that Governor Scott comes out with constitutional defense by eliminating PARCC in Florida as his re-election is on horizon and on the line.  But, he’s smart; he knows not to mess with College Board.

Would you like to know how much the makers of PARRC were going to get for each student taking the test?  Glad you asked.  Those making the test were going to get $29.50, per student.  That is much higher than the $16.57 the FCAT demands.  Of course College Board wants a piece of that action.  Wouldn’t you?

Think about it, teachers. How many students are there in Florida schools?  Let’s just say a lot. Now start to multiply that by retakes.  $29.50 starts to compound and we are talking big bucks.  Also, Pearson loves the retake option for those who fail the test because students get a chance take the test again and we pay Person for it.  Look at the FCAT as an example.  Struggling students retake that test over and over and over again especially at the high school level.  And there is money to be made in the failure of our students.

Think of test makers as credit card companies; they like those who can’t pay their bills because they stand to make much more on those in debt than they do on those who are not.  Testing companies are they same.  Every time a student fails a test, dollar bills go right back into the test maker’s pocket.

The bottom line is the only thing we are talking about here, not the constitution or the federal government’s reach into our schools.  The bottom line is this has nothing to do with the welfare of our students, teachers or parents.  The bottom line is this test will go out to bid again and there will be a test, whether it is made by Pearson, ETS, College Board, or any other testing giant out there.  More importantly, PARCC will put its hat in the ring again when the bidding starts and we may still have a test called PARCC.

You can all be sure of this, there will be a test to assess the Common Core State Standards and it will be administered in the 2014-2015 school year.  It may not be PARCC, but there are several tests already drafted that look just like PARCC ready to launch just as soon as Governor Scott picks a vendor.

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