A group called the Washington Insiders was asked about PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessments.  This group consists of 70 power brokers, divided up among lobbyists, ex Washington staffers, and corporate heads.  Whiteboard advisors asked the questions.

The Whiteboard Advisors report regularly asks whether respondents think that PARCC and the other federally funded consortium, Smarter Balanced, are on the right or wrong track as they work to design tests for the common standards.

PARCC:
On the wrong track: 73 percent
On the right track: 37 percent

Smarter Balanced:
On the wrong track: 38 percent
On the right track: 62 percent

And here’s how they looked in January:

PARCC:
On the wrong track: 45 percent
On the right track: 55 percent

Smarter Balanced:
On the wrong track: 73 percent
On the right track: 27 percent

Almost a direct flip since January.

Much of this attitude change is because of skittish states pulling out of PARCC.  Respondents said that the cost of the tests and the time involved in taking them pose serious threats to the two consortia. Nearly three-quarters said so of PARCC, while only six in 10 said likewise about Smarter Balanced.

Some cite political expediency; that test cost as a reason for nonparticipation is nothing more than “a cover” for political considerations, for instance.

Speculation has been mounting that Florida would pull out of PARCC or decide against using its tests. Since it has been seen as a leader in PARCC, and has served as its fiscal agent (the key channel for procurement), such a move could exert a more potent influence on public perceptions of the group than losing another state.

Whiteboard’s “insiders” backed up that interpretation; 92 percent said that if Florida quits PARCC, it would have some impact or a very significant impact on the common core. One respondent went so far as to say it would be “nail-in-coffin significant.”

The resignation of Florida school’s chief Tony Bennett—one of common core’s biggest proponents—puts an even bigger question mark over that state’s role in the common-assessment work.

It is highly ironic that on the very day the News Journal pushes that Common Core is overwhelmingly supported by almost all the masses,  it is facing the greatest challenge to its survival of its brief life.

If the home of Jeb Bush and Rick Scott pulls out; it is nail in the coffin significant.

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