Someone sent me this clip from Tennessee, where Arne Duncan was trying to salvage the federally-funded online Common Core test called PARCC.

“DUNCAN: TENNESSEE CAN STILL SALVAGE TESTS: At Brick Church College Prep in Nashville, Tenn., Education Secretary Arne Duncan showered the state with praise for becoming the fastest improving state in the country. But it still has a long way to go, he said after a town hall event [ ] with state chief Kevin Huffman. The legislature delayed Common Core-aligned PARCC tests for a year, but Tennessee has time for a fix, he said. “I think that having high standards is really important,” Duncan said. “Having an honest way to measure that you’re hitting those high standards and to have transparency across the country. So if all you’re able to do is measure Tennessee students against Tennessee students and not have any sense of how you’re doing versus Massachusetts or Kentucky or Mississippi, I think that misses the point. I think the state still has a chance to do the right thing going forward.”

Question: has Secretary of Education Duncan heard about the federally-funded National Assessment of Educational Progress? Since 1992, it has been measuring academic progress in the states. Using NAEP, it is possible to compare students in Tennessee to students in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Mississippi, and other states. Instead of testing every single student, it tests scientific samples in every state and nationally. It has no stakes attached. Isn’t that as much testing as we need to compare states?