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Elementary school classroom. (Photo: Creative Commons/Labpluto123) Elementary school classroom. (Photo: Creative Commons/Labpluto123)  

In Arizona, testing costs jump 50 percent under Common Core

The standardized tests required under Common Core, the new federal education guidelines, will increase the state of Arizona’s test-related costs by 50 percent, according to a new report.

Arizona’s previous test cost between $18 and $20 per student. The new test — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — will cost $29.50 per student.

That spending increase is too steep for Arizona taxpayers, said Rep. Doris Goodale, a Republican and chair of the House education committee, in a statement.

“The state I don’t believe could afford that kind of accelerated cost on assessments,” she said in a statement.

Still, state officials working to implement Common Core were pleased that the cost wasn’t even higher. It is unclear whether Gov. Jan Brewer will agree and move forward with the new testing.

In other states, Common Core has encountered increasingly harsh opposition from conservative groups and some Republican politicians. Michigan is holding a series of hearings on Common Core to decide whether implementation should proceed. And Common Core critics held an event in Idaho on Saturday, possibly signaling the development of a movement against the standards in that state.

The sticker price of the standardized testing regime, concerns abut the curriculum, and the hasty approval process for Common Core have all incensed conservatives and even some teachers groups, who worry about the dilution of local control over education.

Defenders of the standards say they will improve educational attainment in most states, and are voluntary.

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