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Oklahoma Board of Education delays $2.8 million re-hire of CTB/McGraw-Hill

Oklahoma Board of Education is delaying its decision to rehire CTB/McGraw-Hill after two years of statewide testing disruptions.

Last Thursday, members of the board discussed whether or not to renew their contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill after firing them in June for consecutive testing discrepancies.

Roughly 8,100 middle and high school students experienced computer problems during testing, and 9,100 students’ tests were interrupted by computer mishaps in 2013.

The contract worth $2.8 million, would re-hire the company and allow for 50,000 high school students to take end-of-the-year 2014 exams in seven major subjects.

Board member Leo Baxter said, “I’m not going to vote to give another $3 million to a failed vendor. When you take your car into the same guy twice and he screws it up both times, you go somewhere else. You don’t take it back to him and let him screw it up a third time.”

State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi admitted to the board that she was not happy about recommending the vendor, but they are running out of time and the lack of alternative vendor interest is also a major contributing factor.

“I don’t like doing this, but we have a statutory requirement to provide assessments during the testing window. If we could, we would be developing our own assessments…that align with state standards,” Barresi said.

The board is taking more time to consider their options before voting. Hopefully the school board will be able to work with the vendor at lending better test programs, or find an alternative vendor. The school board does not want current residents or families who are moving to Oklahoma City to shy away from their schools due to testing mishaps.

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