Today, the Indiana Department of Education announced that it is suing the corporation that administered the state tests and experienced massive computer breakdowns.
We are used to seeing a cozy relationship between state departments and testing companies, who ply them with expensive vacations to conferences in exotic locales and hire lobbyists to cozy up to them.
But the new State Superintendent Glenda Ritz was elected last fall to solve problems, not to harass the public schools and teachers as her predecessor Tony Bennett did.
The legislature and governor have been trying to hobble Ritz because she is not a Republican. They should not. They should recognize that she is fighting to protect the public interest.
June 21, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Daniel Altman
Office: (317) 232-0550
Cell: (317) 650-8698
Statement of Indiana Department of Education Regarding ISTEP+ Damages
INDIANAPOLIS – 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.
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.”