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ISTEP firm faces third-degree from lawmakers, big damages

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Indiana's state superintendent announced Friday she is seeking at least $614,000 in damages from CTB/McGraw-Hill for testing troubles as the company's president apologized to state lawmakers.

CTB/McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley called the disruptions for nearly 80,000 Indiana students last month "unacceptable" Friday and said the company's online servers were "overwhelmed."

A spokesman said Haley would answer questions about the damages after she finishes testifying in front of the joint House and Senate education committee on Friday afternoon. Lawmakers from both parties have said they want answers about the troubles with the test.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz said she is seeking $400,000 for fines covered in the company's $95 million contract with the state. The additional money would pay for an independent review of the testing data, as well as better reporting data.

The amounts are not final, and could grow as more information about the tests comes to light, according to the IDOE.

Administration of the state's standardized test was thrown into chaos after online tests began freezing for hours at a time. The results are used to calculate teacher pay and school grades.

“The consequences of CTB’s server failures were real and significant for Indiana schools," Ritz said in a statement Friday. "As superintendent, I will work to ensure that schools are made whole while continuing to negotiate with CTB in good faith.” 

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

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  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

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