The state purchasing office in New Mexico last week rejected a closely watched protest of a potentially enormous contract award for common-core testing to Pearson, ruling that the bidding process was structured in a “careful and thoughtful” way, despite a rival organization’s claims.
The July 2 decision by New Mexico State Purchasing Agent Lawrence O. Maxwell was a defeat for the American Institutes for Research, a Washington-based organization that argued that the bidding process was skewed to favor Pearson.
Unless the decision is appealed by air, the ruling would appear to clear the way for Pearson to move forward with administering a wide variety of test development and administrative work for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two main consortia of states crafting online tests aligned to the common core. Jon Cohen, the president of air’s assessment division, said last week his organization had not yet decided to appeal the decision.
The state of New Mexico had issued a request for proposals last year on behalf of PARCC states.
A version of this article appeared in the July 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as N.M. Official Rejects Protest Of Common-Core Contract