The Indiana Department of Education announced preliminary damages that it will seek from CTB McGraw-Hill related to ISTEP+ interruptions experienced by schools throughout the state this spring. These amounts are not final, and may well grow as results are reviewed by a third party and additional information is gained.
Warsaw Community Schools is among many school districts throughout the state of Indiana appealing to have student’s ISTEP results reviewed following a server problem that created delays during test taking this year (see related).
“(The server issues) have caused problems,” stated Warsaw Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Craig Hintz. “Warsaw Community Schools was requested by the IDOE to indicate students who were affected. It was difficult to provide an accurate assessment, however, we have determined that all students were affected one way or another.”
This year a total of 482,000 students completed the ISTEP examination. However, according to officials, 78,000 students were online taking the exam when server issues caused delays. The repeated interruptions that ensued as a result of these issues are believed to have potentially negatively impacted thousands of students scores throughout the state.
The preliminary damages amount sought will not be less than $613,600 and could reasonably go into the millions. That amount includes $400,000 in liquidated damages provided for in the contract between the Department of Education and CTB. It also includes $53,600 that the Department will spend to have a third party conduct an analysis of the scores of students that had their testing sessions interrupted and at least $160,00 for other related costs associated with enhanced reporting data
In addition to the preliminary damages, additional damages may be sought after further investigation. Those potential damages include, but are not limited to:
-Reimbursement to Indiana schools for additional costs incurred to administer ISTEP+ during the extended testing window.
-Reimbursement to the Indiana Department of Education for additional costs incurred because of ISTEP+ testing interruptions.
“I have worked closely with CTB throughout the ISTEP+ testing process,” said Superintendent Ritz. “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.”
Source: Indiana Department of Education, Inside INdiana Business