October 17, 2014

Oklahoma Approves Contract With New Test Vendor

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Nate Robson

Nate Robson

EDUCATION WATCH BLOG
Oct. 17, 2014

The state Board of Education approved a $3.4 million contract replacing CTB/McGraw-Hill as the state’s test vendor this winter.

The state unanimously approved a sole-source contract with testing company Measured Progress to handle end-of-instruction exams this winter. A sole-source contract does not go out to bid, and means the state believes no one else can fill the request in time for testing to begin in December.

The state gave 51,000 exams last winter.

The move officially closes the book on McGraw-Hill’s work in Oklahoma.

The state opted not to renew the contract with McGraw-Hill this June after the vendor dealt with online testing outages each of the previous two years.

A sole-source contract with McGraw-Hill was criticized by the board last month due to the outages. That contract was worth nearly $2.8 million, but the company ultimately withdrew its proposal, opening the door for Measured Progress.

Department of Education Chief of Staff Joel Robison said Measured Progress, which already handles state testing for grades three through eight, was approached this summer about replacing McGraw-Hill. The company originally declined because it was pursuing a contract in another state, which ultimately fell through.

Robison said the state has not had any technical problems with Measured Progress on the tests it administered last school year.

The company reportedly reduced its offer by $100,000 despite being a sole-source contract.

Board member William Price said he suspected the company might be eyeing a contract with the state down the road.

Martin Borg, chief executive officer for Measured Progress, said the company sees the winter testing contract as an extension of the testing it has already done for Oklahoma.
The company also plans to pursue a contract that is out for bid to handle the state’s spring testing, Borg said.

That contract is currently going through an opening bidding process.