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State House News Service

New online test raises cost concerns

State Rep. Keiko Orrall, a Republican from Lakeville, filed legislation in April that would pause implementation of the PARCC test and hold back any further funding for it until cost estimates are finalized.

Chester, who is chairman of PARCC's governing board, said Massachusetts is very involved in the development of the test.

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The Obama administration has committed about $2 billion to help elementary and secondary schools across the nation make the transition, according to Chester. In Massachusetts, lawmakers earmarked $38 million for school technology upgrades in an information technology bond bill that passed the House in January. The Senate has not voted on the bond bill yet.

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BOSTON Some lawmakers, parents and teachers want state education policymakers to slow implementation of a new online assessment test developed at the federal level until there is a clearer picture of how much it will cost the state to adopt it.

Rep. Alice Peisch, who co chairs the committee, said the legislation is unnecessary because lawmakers passed an amendment in the fiscal 2015 state budget requiring the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide cost estimates. Negotiations between House and Senate leaders on a final fiscal 2015 budget proposal are ongoing.

During an Education Committee hearing on the bill Wednesday, Orrall said school districts and education policymakers need to get a better understanding of how much it will cost to replace the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or Prada Sunglasses D11768

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"It would be a huge mistake to pause or turn back the clock right now," Chester said during a conference call with reporters detailing observations from the test tryout conducted this spring. "Our educators have been at work for three years now realigning the curriculum. The new assessments are designed to be attuned to that."

MCAS, with PARCC.

is simply unclear to me why we are moving in this direction and how much it is going to cost," Orrall said during the hearing.

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tryout before the state Board of Education makes a final decision.

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Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said Wednesday it would be a disservice to Massachusetts students if the state did not move forward with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test. He said education officials are working with lawmakers to nail down the costs of transitioning to the test that aligns with federal "Common Core" standards.

After the hearing, lawmakers on the Education Committee quickly sent Orrall's bill to a legislative study typically a dead end for legislation.

"We are finding out what works, what doesn't work, what needs to be revised, what needs to be upgraded," Chester said.

She and other critics also argued that education Men Wallet Prada officials should not be so quick to throw away the MCAS test, which they say is a national model that helped propel Massachusetts students to the top academically in comparison to other states.

This spring 80,000 students across the state took the PARCC test. The test will undergo a two year Prada Men Bag

By Colleen Quinn

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In the fall of 2015, the state Board of Education will decide whether or not to sunset the MCAS and make PARCC the state's new assessment tool. The board could also decide to modify the MCAS test, incorporating PARCC components.

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