The Illinois board of education has chosen a different company to administer its mandatory high school assessment, after voicing disappointment with the current contractor’s performance in overseeing a state test at earlier grade levels.
The board on Sept. 21 unanimously approved the hiring of ACT Inc., best known for its development of the ACT college- entrance exam, to administer the Prairie State Achievement Exam, which is given to high school juniors.
The nonprofit test-maker, based in Iowa City, Iowa, will replace San Antonio-based Harcourt Assessment Inc., which came under heavy criticism earlier this year after schools complained of numerous delays and errors on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, a test given in grades 3-8.
Meta Minton, a spokeswoman for the state board, said its dissatisfaction with Harcourt weighed heavily in the decision to select ACT, which will be paid $52 million to administer the high school test through the end of 2010.
A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2006 edition of Education Week