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Utah withdraws from consortium developing Common Core tests

The Utah state school board on Friday voted 12-3 to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium — one of two state-based consortia working off of $360 million in federal Race to the Top money to have outside companies develop assessments that test the Common Core State Standards, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Utah’s withdrawal means the state won’t have a say in the composition of these tests anymore. But it can still choose to test students with SBAC’s exams when they’re ready for primetime. By withdrawing from the consortium, however, Utah will be able to select its Common Core-based tests without prior connection to any one group, which some say could have been perceived as a conflict of interest. The Common Core national math and reading standards — adopted by 46 states, including Utah, two years ago — have come under fire, with right-wing critics contending they facilitate federal intrusion into state education matters, and skeptics across the board charging that they simply won’t work…

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