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Indiana testing vendor having troubles in Oklahoma, too

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Oklahoma education officials plan to study the impact that technical problems had on students' standardized test scores.

Oklahoma's testing vendor has agreed to spend $48,000 to commission the independent study as part of a $1.2 million settlement package. A cash settlement of $376,205 is to compensate for school districts' financial losses associated with the testing problems.

CTB/McGraw-Hill, the second-largest educational testing service in the U.S., has apologized for computer issues that disrupted thousands of students' online tests in Oklahoma and Indiana in late April.

The Tulsa World reported that Indiana is asking McGraw-Hill for compensation of at least $614,000. Indiana sponsored its own independent study of the impact of testing disruptions. The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment found no evidence of widespread harm to most test scores.

A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Education, Sherry Fair, said the evaluation is not expected to be complete until the end of August, but state officials will not be delaying the release of student test scores, which are due out by the middle of the month.

Fair has said the department will evaluate whether to make scoring adjustments based on the evaluation's conclusions.

For the 2012-13 school year, the state paid CTB/McGraw-Hill $8.9 million for Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests, plus $7.3 million for End of Instruction exams that are used to determine whether high school students receive a diploma.

In the aftermath of the testing problems, several state lawmakers publicly questioned the validity of the 2012-13 Oklahoma testing program.

Some Republican state House members called for local school boards to be allowed to determine whether to throw out their schools' test results. House Democratic leaders filed a resolution to terminate the state's testing contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill and sue the company.

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