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State requests bids for student achievement test

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The State Board of Education released its request for bids today to find a company to administer a test to measure student achievement on the state’s learning standards.

Arizona public-school students are scheduled to begin taking the test in the second half of the 2014-15 school year.

The state has budgeted $18 million for the test, about $5 million less than Gov. Jan Brewer had proposed.

The test will measure how well students have grasped Arizona’s College and Career Ready standards, also known as Common Core, a set of English and math standards the board adopted in 2010 and has since been implementing. Forty-six states adopted the standards, but two have since withdrawn.

On May 30, the state withdrew from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, an association of states developing its own test.

The withdrawal was to avoid perceptions of impropriety in the procurement process since PARCC is expected to be one of the bidders and the state had a strong presence on the association with Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal being on its governing board.

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