Now begins the struggle for billions of dollars for Common Core testing. Bear in mind that this is public money that should be spent on reducing class sizes, providing arts programs, hiring librarians and counselors, and supplying other necessary services to students and schools. The next time you hear some politician or pundit complain about the cost of public education, remind them of the billions of dollars that Pearson and its rivals will collect to administer and score Common Core tests. This is the national marketplace that Race to the Top was designed to create. It succeeded beyond Arne Duncan’s wildest dreams–in enriching testing corporations and impoverishing schools.


Is this a crime in plain sight? The victims are our students, educators, and schools. Who will be held liable for this massive diversion of taxpayer dollars into the testing industry?


Politico reports this morning:


RIVAL PROTESTS PEARSON CONTRACT: The contract to administer and score Common Core tests for states in the PARCC consortium was expected to be worth several billion dollars through the end of the decade. So it surprised some in the industry that Pearson was the only bidder, in a consortium with a handful of subcontractors. Now a rival, the American Institutes for Research, is claiming it was no coincidence: It’s pressing a lawsuit alleging the bid was rigged. (h/t EdWeek:

– The PARCC bidding process was run through the state of New Mexico, which put out a request for proposals last year. The request bundled development and delivery of the first year of testing – which Pearson was already working on – with administration of the test in subsequent years. AIR, a nonprofit that administers tests in several states, claims Pearson got an automatic, insurmountable advantage because of the bid’s set up. AIR filed a protest with New Mexico last December, claiming the bidding process unfairly and unlawfully restricted competition. It sent its complaint to the individual identified by the state as the only person testing companies could contact about the process. But some time later – after the deadline for filing a complaint passed – New Mexico told AIR the protest was sent to the wrong office and it missed the deadline. Then it declined to hear AIR’s claim of an illegal bid process. AIR appealed in district court; a hearing is scheduled for later this month.

– “The RFP looked designed to go to Pearson, and it seems that every other firm in the industry must have drawn the same conclusion,” Jon Cohen, AIR’s president of assessment, told Morning Education. “To make a multi-billion-dollar decision based on an anti-competitive RFP won’t serve PARCC, New Mexico or all the other PARCC states well in the long run.’ For more, dive into the (very lengthy) AIR complaints: and

– Pearson declined to comment. PARCC also declined to talk, referring questions to New Mexico officials, who could not be reached.