INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Negotiations between the state and CTB/McGraw-Hill over
widespread disruptions in last year’s online ISTEP+ tests are continuing,
but it’s unlikely that the state will recoup cash despite its initial
assertions it wanted more than $600,000 for the problems.
Instead, McGraw-Hill Education spokesman Brian Belardi told The Indianapolis
Star that the damages will be covered by credits for ongoing, past and
CTB/McGraw-Hill is in the final year of a four-year, $95 million contract
with the state to administer the high-stakes test.
Under the contract, CTB/McGraw-Hill is required to provide uninterrupted
computer availability every school day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the two
weeks before each testing window, as well as for the entire testing window.
If the company fails to perform, DOE is entitled to collect $50,000 per day
for each of the first five days, $150,000 for each of the next five days and
$250,000 a day thereafter until the situation is resolved, according to the
A report released in July found about 80,000 students in third through
eighth grade had at least one part of the statewide standardized test
interrupted when server glitches from CTB/McGraw-Hill kicked them offline.
That’s about 16 percent of all students who took the test.
The report determined that the interruptions had little effect on the scores
but recommended about 1,400 results be thrown out to avoid tainting the
other test scores.
The scores are used in calculating teacher pay and school funding, as well
as school grades under the state’s “A-F” system. The disruptions contributed
to a months-long delay in the rollout of the scores last year.
Several districts experienced problems with the online portion of this
year’s ISTEP+ exam and shifted to paper tests.
Indiana Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman said no agreement
has been reached yet on the amount that CTB/McGraw-Hill will compensate the
state for last year’s glitches.
“We are still working toward a settlement,” Altman said. “We are confident
that the matter will be settled in a way that is beneficial for Hoosier