Missouri officially cuts ties with Common Core test vendor

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri will no longer be using testing materials from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, its former vendor for the Common Core standard assessments. Assistant Commissioner Sharon Helwig, of the Office of College and Career Readiness, mailed the official letter of membership withdrawal to the executive director of the consortium.

This letter comes after a Missouri judge ruled in February the partnership with the consortium is illegal. State law mandated that schools administer the consortium's tests this spring, but that will be the last time. 

Common Core standards have caused a lot of controversy and mixed opinions. Common Core opponents claim the state should write all education standards. 

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter said the state hopes to have its own standardized test some day. Potter said it takes about three years to get a new standardized test in place, though.

Although the state won't use the Smarter Balance tests anymore, it will continue to use the current Missouri learning standards for the coming school year at least. The state sets standards for all subjects, but it will continue to use the Common Core standards for math and English.

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