State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi announced today that the Oklahoma State Department of Education, in conjunction with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, has reached a settlement agreement with CTB/McGraw-Hill for more than $1.2 million in damages. The settlement covers damages suffered by students and teachers during the testing disruptions and server outages experienced on April 29 and 30 during the spring testing window.
“I am very pleased with this settlement. I was outraged over the disruptions during the two day period. I announced that we would seek damages to the full extent of the contract and we took an aggressive stance. The settlement agreement amounts to three times the value of damages defined in the contract,” said Superintendent Barresi.
Superintendent Barresi pointed out that the settlement agreement directly benefits teachers and supports classroom instruction for increased student achievement through several in-kind components. “Our teachers and students suffered the most during the testing disruptions and I wanted them to benefit the most. We’ve accomplished that. During negotiations, we were mindful of the suffering of the children and the stress this placed on teachers, testing coordinators and parents.”
The settlement agreement includes:
-Capture specifications regarding bandwidth, number of workstations, server configuration, etc. at each school site
-Identify a technology contact at each school district
-Perform online stress tests at every site
-Conduct training and deploy implementation services at all sites
-Establish a technology forum to deliver regular communications to districts
The entire cash settlement amount will be disbursed to schools in order to help compensate for extra personnel costs incurred due to assessment issues this past spring. The State Department of Education will communicate with district superintendents as the HUMRRO report is issues, cash is distributed and in-kind components are put into place.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has expressed interest in reviewing the settlement prior to OMES finalizing paperwork.