News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

June 21, 2013

Indiana DOE seeks monetary damages related to ISTEP+ glitches

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education announced today 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, according to a statement issued by the DOE.

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, according to the news release. 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 $160,000 for other related costs associated with enhanced reporting data.

In addition to the preliminary damages, the release stated, 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,” Superintendent Glenda Ritz said in the written statement. “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.”

CTB/McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley is expected to testify before the Commission on Education this afternoon, when she will address what caused close to 80,000 students to have their online ISTEP tests disrupted last month. Some school corporation superintendents also expected to testify.

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