State lawmakers to grill CTB/McGraw-Hill over foul-ups that delayed ISTEP testing

Lawmakers want company to fix problems for 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - It's becoming even more apparent how upset state leaders are over the botched ISTEP testing this year.

Legislative leaders are calling in CTB/McGraw-Hill -- the company in charge of the testing -- for a committee grilling.

CTB/McGraw-Hill has already taken plenty of heat over the ISTEP foul-ups, but that might have been nothing compared to what it will face next month.

Legislative leaders announced Thursday that members of their Education Commission will meet by no later than mid-June.

They want CTB/McGraw-Hill officials there in person to explain why the computer capacity problems that slowed testing occurred, why they were not prepared to deal with them and what they're doing to prevent it from happening again.

"We're going to ask the Department of Education to come and explain their thinking on how we deal with these tests, their outcomes, what they're hearing from their schools,"  said Sen. David Long, R-President Pro Tempore. "We're going to have superintendents of schools, invite them all, whoever wants to come, to testify as well on their experiences and the problems they think have arisen as a result of that."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz's spokesman, John Barnes, said it's important that the company be questioned as soon as possible after the completion of the testing this month while the problems are still fresh in the minds of educators and students.

"It also makes sure that we can hold them accountable and find out why it is that they couldn't provide the services that they were contracted to take care of," Barnes said.

Barnes said it's important for CTB/McGraw-Hill officials to hear firsthand from superintendents about the problems these test foul-ups caused.

Company officials have not yet responded to a request for comment.

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