Common Core exam to cost millions more than AIMS test - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Common Core exam to cost millions more than AIMS test


AIMS, the state's standardized test is going away and Common Core is taking its place. However, Common Core will cost more and the state doesn't have the money set aside for it just yet.

Education officials say the new exam could cost the state more than $20 million, but it's the lawmakers that will have the final word on how much the state will actually pay. School districts will also have to bear some of the cost when the test comes down.           

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, all students from the second grade to seniors in high school will take the Common Core exam.

"One of the key facets is how much progress we're making on a yearly basis," said State Board of Education member Jaime Molera.

Molera says the new test will cost millions more than the AIMS. The cost? Molera says it could be anywhere from $20 million to $30 million more on top of what the state is spending now on standardized tests.

"This test is going to cost more than AIMS because it's a more sophisticated test," said State Superintendent John Huppenthal.

School districts will even have to pick up some of the costs for training. The test will soon be given online so some districts will also have to pick up the cost to update their technology.

"They may have to even look at reducing some staff to free up the money to pay for the cost of the internet connection," said Chuck Essigs with the Arizona Association of School Business Officials.

Currently, the board is taking bids from test-making companies on how much it would cost to give out the test. Once that's finished, education board members will give Gov. Jan Brewer a proposal on the test cost during the next legislative session. Lawmakers will have to approve it.

"The Legislature is going to be responsible, they know they have to measure academic results from early on to high school. They're not going to leave the system in chaos, they're going to make the responsible decision," said Huppenthal.

He said the next thing is to educate lawmakers on the need for funding for Common Core because there are some misconceptions that need to be cleared up.          

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