(Indianapolis, Ind.) - The Indiana Department of Education will seek damages against the company responsible for this year’s ISTEP+ test debacle.
In May, schools statewide had to extend the online testing period and reduce the number of students taking the test at one time because of a glitch in test provider CTB McGraw-Hill's servers. About 80,000 students statewide were affected, including many in southeast Indiana.
On Friday, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced that it will pursue preliminary damages from CTB McGraw-Hill totaling at least $613,600.
That figure is likely to increase as the ISTEP results are reviewed by a third party. Reimbursements for schools who incurred extra costs due to the interruptions and the department of education’s extra costs are likely to add on as well.
Ritz said she has been working closely with CTB through the entire ISTEP+ process.
“The consequences of CTB’s server failures were real and significant for Indiana schools. As Superintendent, I will work to ensure that schools are made whole while continuing to negotiate with CTB in good faith,” she said.
The state superintendent said the preliminary $613,600 is made up of $400,000 in liquidated damages provided for in the contract between the Department of Education and CTB McGraw-Hill. It also includes $53,600 that the DOE will spend to have a third party conduct an analysis of the scores of students that had their testing sessions interrupted. About $160,000 accounts for other costs related to with enhanced reporting data.
CTB McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley met with the joint House and Senate education committee Friday to discuss the ISTEP+ issue. She said the disruptions were “unacceptable” and that the company’s online servers were “overwhelmed.”