Thursday, December 05, 2002


Here's another reason Nebraska ought to put the boot to statewide assessments: mistakes in scoring on tests required for graduation in Minnesota will cost NCS Pearson up to $7 million in damages in a court settlement revealed last week.

The company scored the assessments in Iowa City two years ago and erroneously failed 7,997 Minnesota students in grades 8-12. They had, in fact, passed.

Students will receive amounts ranging from as little as $362.50 for those suffering minor consequences of the grading to as much as $16,000 for those who weren't allowed to participate in high-school graduation ceremonies because of the scoring errors. Students unnecessarily attended summer school, received psychological treatment or had delayed graduations as a consequence.

The company says the errors were caused by a last-minute test change ordered by Minnesota school officials. The answer key got messed up as a result.

With attorneys' fees and notification costs, the company could be liable for as much as $12 million altogether.

For more, see the Nov. 25 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "NCS test error to cost up to $7 million," at http://www.crgazette.com

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