The Illinois state board of education voted unanimously on May 18 to strip its testing contractor of several administrative duties, after hearing complaints from districts across the state about late-arriving and misprinted test booklets.
Harcourt Assessment, based in San Antonio, however, will still design the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or ISAT.
State schools Superintendent Randy J. Dunn, who recently announced he will be stepping down from his post later this year, had recommended that another company take over duties such as printing and distributing test booklets, board spokeswoman Meta Minton said. The board will solicit proposals from other companies for those and other duties, she said.
State officials have blamed Harcourt for delays in sending ISAT tests to some of the state’s 896 districts, as well as for missing sections and misprints on exams, and a general lack of responsiveness to complaints. (“Illinois Schools Adjust to Delays, Mishaps by Test Company,” March 22, 2006.)
In a statement, Rick Blake, a vice president at Harcourt, said the company was pleased to continue its scaled-back duties.
A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week