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News Releases 2014

State Board of Education Approves an Emergency Contract for State Assessments

by Xi Guo | Sep 19, 2014


Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2014

State Board of Education Approves an Emergency Contract for State Assessments

JACKSON, Miss. –The Mississippi Board of Education voted today in executive session to approve a contract with NCS Pearson Inc., to administer the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) as an emergency procurement for one year.

After four months of working with the Personal Service Contract Review Board (PSCRB) to secure a contract for state tests for the current school year, the Mississippi Department of Education learned last Friday that the PSCRB staff would not place the contract approval on its Board’s agenda this month. The decision led to the State Board of Education’s action.

“We are disappointed that the PSCRB staff did not place the contract on the Board’s agenda for approval. We followed the process of developing a sole source contract as PSCRB staff recommended last spring,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “We worked in good faith to resolve any issues that arose, and we thought the contract was on track to be approved this month. We did not want to place teachers, administrators and 300,000 students in jeopardy by not having an assessment in place.”

Dr. John Kelly, chairman of the State Board of Education, said the Board had no choice but to pursue an emergency procurement for one year so that students, teachers, and school and district leaders can be assured of a state assessment this year.

“We have several school districts on 4 x4 block schedules that need an assessment in place for the first week of December. Because of this timeline, we needed to make sure that these roughly 16,000 students and their schools would not be adversely affected by this issue. We had no reasonable alternative,” he said.

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