LITTLE ROCK — The state Board of Education on Thursday rejected Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request that it not renew the state’s contract for standardized tests with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

LITTLE ROCK — The state Board of Education on Thursday rejected Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s request that it not renew the state’s contract for standardized tests with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.


Hutchinson said Monday he supported a recommendation from the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review that the state stop administering tests developed by PARCC and aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and that instead it seek a contract with ACT to administer tests developed by ACT Aspire.


But Thursday, the Board of Education voted 7-1 to renew the state’s contract with PARCC, with board member Alice Mahony casting the only vote against renewal.


Hutchinson said in a statement he was "disappointed" by the board’s action.


"The Legislature had directed through Act 1074 that the current PARCC contract not be renewed long-term and for the State Board to consider a change for the 2016-17 school year. I determined it best to make the change for the next school year for the sake of long-term stability for the teachers, school districts and for the sake of our students," Hutchinson said.


"In the coming days, I will work closely with (Education Commissioner Johnny) Key and the board to determine the best guidance we can provide our students, teachers and administrators as to the next steps in student assessments," he said.


Hutchinson noted that his request was based on a recommendation from "a 16-member council made up of teachers, administrators, business leaders and students from all over the state."


State Department of Education spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman said renewal of the contract has not been finalized.


"The contract has not yet been signed. We are in consultation with Governor Hutchinson’s office about next steps," she said.


Also Thursday, the board voted to place the Guy-Perkins School District on fiscal-distress status.


The board also voted to approve science standards for grades kindergarten through 8. The standards were developed by a group of 45 educators and went through a 30-day public-comment period, during which they received mostly favorable comments.


A committee is working on science standards for grades 9-12, which the board is expected to consider in the spring of 2016.