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Tue December 14, 2010
Settlement over testing would provide over $5 million
By Renny MacKay
Laramie, WY – The company that provides Wyoming's annual student assessment has agreed to pay damages due to problems with that test this year. State Superintendent Jim McBride says NCS Pearson has agreed to pay the state more than five million dollars in cash and services. But McBride says he's not signing the agreement because he is leaving office at the end of the month and thinks his successor should have the final say.
"It's all negotiated and Pearson has signed it so it could be as simple as them saying, it looks good to me' and signing on or it may be as complicated as each line item in the negotiated agreement is dissected by the new administration."
This year there were problems with the computer-based portion of the test known as PAWS. Under the negotiated agreement, Pearson would fund training for teachers in every school district, and give Wyoming one-point-three million dollars in cash. Pearson will provide the test again next year, but it will be administered in a pencil and paper format.
McBride says the deal negotiated with Pearson requires the company to provide training to teachers about how to use the results of the test. "One huge component of this settlement agreement is training on how to access the data and then the second component is OK now that I know Johnny is behind in two areas of mathematics how do I address those areas."
The State Superintendent-elect is traveling this week and was not available to comment on the proposed settlement.