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Florida Commissioner finds PARCC replacement
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2014 13:53 PM

Pam Stewart, the Florida Commissioner of Education, has announced that the state will be using a standards test developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) instead of the one created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The new test, which will be field tested in Utah before being implemented in Florida during the 2014-2015 school year, will replace the standards exam Florida has been using for years, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

The new assessment being developed by AIR is designed to align with Florida's adjustments to the Common Core State Standards. Lawmakers in the Sunshine State made state-specific adjustments to the CCSS, adopting them to their statewide curriculum. This new version is being called the Florida Standards.

PARCC is a state consortium working to develop CCSS-aligned assessments. The presence of other states in the consortium that don't share the Florida Standards was seen as a threat to the state's autonomy by conservative groups. Consequently, Republican Gov. Rick Scott has been forced to withdraw support from PARCC and find an alternative mathematics/language arts assessment. Commissioner Stewart's endorsement of AIR, however, has done little to assuage opponents of Common Core State Standards-like testing. Proponents of the move, however, are confident the new testing service will not meet the same fate as PARCC.