Mississippi Personnel Board Director denies allegations that Gov. Bryant influenced rejection of #CommonCore testing contract.

Posted by on September 20, 2014
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ANM News partner MississippiPEP.com is reporting that Mississippi State Personnel Board Director Deanne Mosley issued a statement Friday night regarding the rejection of a four-year contract for Common Core testing denying allegations that Gov. Phil Bryant influenced the decision.

“It is unfortunate that there have been allegations that politics entered into the decision or that Governor Phil Bryant directed me, as Chair of the Personal Service Contract Review Board, to deny Superintendent Wright’s request to approve the contract,” Mosley said in the statement. “Those allegations are not true. No one had to influence me to follow the law and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent properly and legally.”

The state Board of Education was forced to approve an emergency contract Thursday following the Personnel Board’s rejection of the original four-year contract. That means Mississippi’s public school students will take multistate tests this year to evaluate student mastery of the Common Core state standards.

The board approved the $8.3 million emergency contract with a unit of Pearson PLC in a closed session.

The Personnel Board ruled that the Department of Education should have solicited proposals from other vendors. The Department of Education withdrew the contract early Friday.

Governor Phil Bryant was in Japan this week for an economic development conference.

Mississippi will have to sign a new contract after this year, opening the possibility that students will take whole new sets of tests two years in a row. Mississippi can’t return to the prior exams administered last year, also written by Pearson, because tests are supposed to align with standards.

Some local school superintendents want Mississippi to adopt tests written by the ACT organization. Opponents of Common Core want Mississippi to drop both PARCC and the standards.


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Keith Plunkett

Keith Plunkett

Keith Plunkett is a journalist and policy writer for ANM News. He is sought after in his home state of Mississippi as a political consultant for his skills as a communications strategist. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits for nearly 15 years. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations.