SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education voted Friday to end the state's membership in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC.

Utah's involvement in the consortium — one of two that were formed to begin the process of drafting assessments for the Common Core State Standards — had drawn criticism from groups that oppose the core standards. They worried Utah would be tied to assessment materials developed out of state.

According to officials, the state will soon issue a request for proposals from companies interested in working with Utah to provide assessments for mathematics and English language arts. The state will continue implementing the Common Core standards, but the decision to end Utah's membership with SBAC was made to avoid a conflict of interest with testing materials.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of achievement benchmarks. They are voluntarily adopted, with the goal of improving college- and career-readiness among students as well as establishing a degree of educational consistency between states.

Benjamin Wood