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Darron Cummings | Associated Press
Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson talks with Randy Borror before the start of a joint House and Senate education committee hearing at the Statehouse on Friday.

State seeks damages against ISTEP company

Darron Cummings | Associated Press
Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill, speaks during the hearing. She respond to questions about what caused close to 80,000 students to have their online ISTEP tests disrupted last month.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education is seeking at least $613,000 in preliminary damages from testing company CTB McGraw-Hill related to ISTEP+ interruptions experienced by schools throughout the state this spring.

The amount is not final, and may grow – even into the millions – as results are reviewed by a third party and additional information is gained, a press release said.

The tally includes $400,000 in liquidated damages provided for in the contract between the Department of Education and CTB. It also includes $53,600 that the Department will spend to have a third party conduct an analysis of the scores of students that had their testing sessions interrupted and at least $160,00 for other related costs associated with enhanced reporting data

"I have worked closely with CTB throughout the ISTEP+ testing process," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. "The consequences of CTB's server failures were real and significant for Indiana schools. As superintendent, I will work to ensure that schools are made whole while continuing to negotiate with CTB in good faith."

The news came just hours before CTB McGraw-Hill executives are set to appear before a legislative summer study committee on the testing problems.