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Alaska Withdraws From Smarter Balanced Testing Group

Alaska has announced that it is pulling out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and will instead design its own tests.

A spokeswoman for Smarter Balanced confirms that Alaska notified the group that it will withdraw. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the state has hired the University of Kansas to design new assessments.

Alaska, as you might recall, was an unusual case in the common-standards world: It planned to use tests being designed for the standards by one of two federally funded testing consortia, but it had never adopted the underlying Common Core State Standards.

An official of the Alaska department of education alludes to that situation, noting that the department decided it was best to have tests designed for its own state standards.

Another unusual common-core situation in Alaska? The school district of Anchorage actually adopted the standards.

The last state to withdraw from Smarter Balanced, Kansas, is using the University of Kansas' tests, as well; the testing-development institute there has made Kansas' tests for years.

Alaska's move brings Smarter Balanced membership to 23.

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