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Public school testing contract renewed

Filed by KOSU News in Local News.
June 27, 2013

The Oklahoma State Department of Education will renew their standardized testing contract with CTB McGraw Hill, despite recent problems with the testing provider.

The one year renewal, worth $16 million, comes automatically and requires no action by the state Board of Education.

In the middle of high-stakes testing this year, schools across the state experienced significant problems with CTB McGraw Hill, affecting thousands. Oklahoma wasn’t the only state to see the issues; about 50,000 tests froze up in Indiana. StateImpact Indiana reports CTB McGraw Hill now acknowledges they didn’t have enough computer memory for the tests to run smoothly.

After the problems, many local Oklahoma superintendents and principals called for changes to the testing system, arguing they don’t have the technology and bandwith necessary to ensure the tests go on without problems.

The state has pledged to work with districts, and tells KOSU they’re negotiating a settlement after the testing outages. State Department of Education spokesperson Sherry Fair says they’re working to insert more strict requirements into the CTB McGraw Hill contract. She says there’s no timetable on an announcement about a settlement.

For more details about Oklahoma’s testing issues, see KOSU’s coverage here, and here.

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