May 20, 2014 10:39:53 AM
JACKSON -- Mississippi's state Board of Education has approved spending $8.4 million on standardized tests aligned with the new Common Core state standards.
The board voted May 16 for the first year of what could be a four-year contract with a division of British firm Pearson PLC. The money is Mississippi's share of the cost of a multistate testing group called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.
Mississippi Department of Education officials say local school districts will decide whether the new tests will be given on computer or paper.
The Common Core standards are an effort to agree what students should learn across states. Mississippi and 44 other states signed on, although opponents have attacked the standards and testing as a federal takeover of education.