Common Core test trouble bodes ill for program

Sep 22, 2014 by

UPDATE: Deanne Mosley, director of the Mississippi State Personnel Board, issued a statement Friday night on her agency’s problems with approving a contract for Common Core testing.

Her statement:

“As communicated to Superintendent Wright and her staff, the $8 million contract she submitted could not be approved as a legal and proper expenditure of taxpayer funds as it did not follow Mississippi procurement laws. The New Mexico officials who selected this vendor to receive the contract did not take into account and did not follow Mississippi laws in place to protect Mississippi taxpayers.

PSCRB and MDE staffs worked diligently for months in an effort to determine if this contract could be legally approved. However, the end result was that it could not be legally approved.

The contract could not be approved as a sole-source contract since it does not meet the legal requirements of a sole-source contract. To be approved as a sole-source and awarded without competition, the service must be available from only a single supplier. The company selected by New Mexico officials is not the only company which can provide these services.

It is unfortunate that there have been allegations that politics entered into the decision or that Governor Phil Bryant directed me, as Chair of the Personal Service Contract Review Board, to deny Superintendent Wright’s request to approve the contract. Those allegations are not true. No one had to influence me to follow the law and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent properly and legally.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Difficulty inking a long-term contract for testing likely spells trouble for the embattled Common Core education standards in Mississippi and elsewhere.

The state Board of Education in a closed-door meeting Thursday approved an emergency $8.4 million one-year contract for testing students under Common Core. The Department of Education had withdrawn a four-year contract with Pearson PLC for approval after learning it would likely be rejected by the state’s contract review board.

via UPDATED: Common Core test trouble bodes ill for program.

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