NYT’s Mass. Testing Story Contradicted By Other Outlets, Appears To Overstate Decision

Alexander Russo:

Things have begun to look pretty bad for the multistate assessment known as PARCC in Massachusetts, according to a November 21 New York Times story:

State education chief Mitch Chester was “walking away” from the Common Core-aligned tests he helped create. The state would now “go it alone” rather than using one of the multistate consortia.

According to the Times story (penned by Kate Zernike and headlined “Massachusetts’s Rejection of Common Core Test Signals Shift in U.S.”), the state would “abandon the multistate test in favor of one to be developed for just this state.” A paragraph later, the move is described as an “about-face.”

Symbolically, no doubt the decision was a big one. The state once leading the way on high, uniform standards was modifying its approach in the face of opposition and concern – following a process that has unfolded in several other states that have renamed the standards and dropped or modified the assessments.