As for which standardized tests the state should require, there’s one other point in favor of the Next Generation Iowa Assessments: not only are they much cheaper, but the money goes to an Iowa enterprise—the Iowa Testing Programs, which is part of the University of Iowa. The Smarter Balanced Consortium is not based in Iowa. Sure, the Smarter Balanced tests are likely to be administered by Pearson, which has lots of Iowa employees, but Pearson is a billion-dollar British multinational corporation. So who knows where the money ends up.
Of course my objections to the role of standardized testing in schools involve much more than cost, but money seems to be the language policy-makers speak, so . . . why the outsourcing?