Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration intends to award Measurement Inc. of Durham, N.C., with a contract for more than $100 million to develop and produce standardized tests for the state’s public schools, reports The Tennessean.
The state notified five companies Wednesday that Measurement Inc. had the best evaluated proposal of companies that bid to create assessments for English language arts and math. If and when the contract is officially awarded to Measurement Inc., it will produce tests beginning next school year to replace pieces of — or at least alter — the outdated Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program. The new tests would align with the state’s current Common Core standards.
A contract still requires signatures and would need to clear an appeals process. It comes after the Tennessee General Assembly last spring halted a previously planned transition to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC — a Common Core-aligned computer-based test.
Instead, the state reopened bids for the 2015-16 year for a testing contract that is expected to be in the neighborhood of $107 million over five years. It would replace education giant Pearson Inc., which produces TCAP.
“This is an important step forward for Tennessee,” Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said in a written statement, though he was unavailable for an interview. “The department will support teachers and school and district leaders throughout the state with regional trainings as they transition to the new test.”
“The state’s Central Procurement Office has led a fair and transparent process.”
The other four companies to bid on the contract were CTB/McGraw Hill, Pearson, Questar Assessment and Vantage.
Kelly Smith, a spokeswoman for the procurement office, said Measurement Inc.’s proposal received the highest technical score — used to assess a company’s ability to provide a service — and the lowest proposed cost.