On Friday, testing executive Laura McGiffert Slover spoke with Denver education reporters about the status and future of the PARCC exams.

Next spring, students across Colorado and a dozen other states and Washington D.C., will be the first to take the PARCC, short for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, exams.

The assessments are supposed to test for proficiency in English and math. The data will also be used to determine school rankings and teacher ratings.

The tests and the standards they are aligned too, the Common Core State Standards, have been under political fire for months in Colorado and around the nation. As sort of a compromise, the Colorado General Assembly established a task force to study the issue.

We asked McGiffert Slover to defend her exams. Here’s what she had to say about “testing madness” and much more: