Dept. of Education pulls out of Smarter Balanced testing on Common Core standards

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Education on Monday pulled out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests being developed to evaluate how well students have mastered the new standards laid out by Common Core.

Superintendent of Education Mick Zais sent a letter today stating he is pulling the state out of the testing consortium, because he believes the state should consider open procurement for other tests.

“My decision to exit Smarter Balanced does not address which assessments will be offered in South Carolina next year,” wrote Zais in the letter. “It is my understanding that a state does not have to be a governing state to offer the Smarter Balanced Assessment. In consideration of the foregoing, and the discovery that I have the authority to withdraw South Carolina from its status as a governing state of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and after full consultation with the Governor’s Office and appropriate members of the General Assembly, I am informing you that I am exercising that authority.”

South Carolina’s students were scheduled to be tested by Smarter Balanced during the 2014-15 school year. Last week, the State Board of Education voted against a proposal to allow South Carolina to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Testing Consortium that is developing tests to meet new federal education requirements.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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