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Nev. Recoups $1.3M From Measured Progress Over Online Testing Woes

Cross-posted from the Marketplace K-12 blog

Nevada's attorney general has announced a settlement with Measured Progress over testing foul-ups earlier this year, a deal that will result in the vendor paying the state $1.3 million in cash and services.

Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, an elected Republican, described the agreement in a statement as one born of "extensive pre-litigation negotiations."

He also noted that no settlement has been reached with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Laxalt claimed earlier this year that the consortium of states that has developed common-core tests, of which Nevada is a part, was in breach of contract along with Measured Progress for not helping the state avert its testing woes.

Nevada officials said that Measured Progress will be required to reduce its charges to the state for testing by $789,021 (to $1.87 million).

Additionally, Measured Progress is agreeing to give Nevada's middle schools a product, valued at $510,000, designed to help teachers and students get ready for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, the attorney general said.

Nevada weathered a series of delays and disruptions in trying to give statewide online exams earlier this year, setbacks that angered state officials and district leaders.

While Measured Progress absorbed much of the blame for those breakdowns, the vendor also said that part of the responsibility lay with the American Institutes for Research, a Washington-based testing organization. Measured Progress said the AIR was slow in delivering source code for a test-delivery platform to be used in Nevada. The AIR has said those delays were minimal.

The contract between Measured Progress, which is based in Dover, N.H., and Nevada expired this year.

The state has since hired Data Recognition Corporation as its testing vendor, on a contract worth $51 million. (The contract was officially awarded to McGraw-Hill Education/CTB, but that company has announced its plans to get out of the state testing arena, and is transferring its work in that area to DRC.)

In a statement, Measured Progress officials said there is "continued goodwill" between the testing organization and the state, despite the testing problems. The agreement to have the vendor help with the science standards is evidence of that cooperation, the nonprofit organization said.

"Measured Progress is committed to the success of Nevada's assessment programs and the agreement was reached mutually and cordially," the vendor said.

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