* From January 16th..
Chicago Public Schools are set to defy a mandate to launch a standardized exam districtwide this spring, despite the potential for sanctions that could include some loss of federal funding.
The district said it will administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, or PARCC, to just 66 of its more than 600 schools as an extension of a pilot program that began last year. The rest of the schools will continue to administer NWEA-MAP and EPAS exams.
School district chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s decision to snub PARCC, which she said was made in conjunction with the school board, could have national implications and play a role in a congressional debate over laws that created rigorous Common Core standards and a divisive system of high-stakes testing.
* Greg Hinz reports the cost to the state might be as high as $1.17 billion…
The threat came in a previously unpublicized letter to Illinois Schools Superintendent Christopher Koch from Deborah Delisle, the assistant U.S. education secretary, but also has been privately communicated in conversations that state officials are taking very seriously.
“We are greatly concerned about it,” the Rev. James Meeks, the new chairman of the state school board, told me.
“We are working through the process,” Meeks continued, with a “hope” that the matter can be resolved without financial loss to CPS or the state, which receives most federal school funds and distributes them to local districts.[…]
The letter mentioned several categories of assistance that, collectively, amount to $1.17 billion to Illinois in fiscal 2015, according to the state board.
The $1.17 billion represents about 84 percent of federal education aid to Illinois, excluding school lunch and breakfast programs. Of all dollars spent in the state on grade and high schools, about one in 10 comes from the feds—so losing all of the $1.17 billion really would bite
The letter is here.