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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

PARCC estimates tests would cost less per student than FCAT; Georgia drops out



When questioning the need to remain in the PARCC testing consortium, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz referred to concerns over cost.

"To date, the cost of the full implementation of PARCC assessment materials is indeterminate, let alone the costs for the technology and professional development infrastructure necessary to effectively administer a valid assessment program," they wrote July 17 in a letter to commissioner Tony Bennett.

On Monday the consortium issued its cost estimate for its testing: $29.50 per student for the computerized version, with another $3-$4 per student for the paper and pencil test.

"The cost projections for the PARCC tests will continue to be refined over time as the development of the tests continues, including as technology for automated scoring continues to improve since it will be possible to achieve greater cost savings when the scoring of student essays can be automated," the document states.

FCAT, by comparison, cost Florida $30.59 per student, or $13.37 per scored test in 2011-12, according to the most recent data available from the state Department of Education.

Florida school districts continue to work toward acquiring adequate technology to offer fully computerized tests. Bennett has yet to present his recommendation for Common Core testing in the state. Georgia's governor and state superintendent, meanwhile, announced Monday that their state would leave PARCC to write its own tests.

[Last modified: Monday, July 22, 2013 4:29pm]


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