Utah education officials have abruptly canceled a $44 million contract with a Minnesota-based standardized-testing company amid a flurry of technological glitches that have created uncertainty about whether this year’s test scores will be validated.
School board Chairman Mark Huntsman said that members didn’t want to risk more of the testing interruptions that schools have experienced this year.
The state has paid Questar Assessment Inc. about $6 million so far for the 10-year contract that it signed last year and plans to negotiate to recoup some of that.
A board spokesman said state officials likely won’t know until August or September if this year’s test results are valid to use as part of the state’s assessment of teacher and school performances.
Questar CEO Brad Baumgartner said the company “regrets the decision” but will help with a smooth transition and continue to provide services to the state until a new company is chosen.
The company also does testing for schools in Mississippi, Missouri, New York, South Dakota, and Tennessee, according to its website.
A version of this article appeared in the June 19, 2019 edition of Education Week as Utah to Drop $44 Million Contract With New Assessment Company