The Georgia Department of Education and the people of Georgia appear to be suffering from buyer’s remorse after spending $110 million on a 5 year contract to provide testing and grading to Georgia’s k-12 students after a series of hiccups on the just concluded Georgia Milestones Assessments. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently ran an article with the blaring headline, “Dear CTB/McGraw-Hill, Give Back Our Money for Problem-Prone Georgia Milestones Tests.” The article featured a letter written by Zachary Kroll. Kroll is a graduate student in the Department of Education at the University of Georgia.
During this school year, we wasted numerous class periods testing the system, making sure our students can log in, and checking to make sure your technology will work when we need it most. This has taken valuable days away from our teachers, administration, media specialists and, most importantly, our students. These days could have been spent learning.
Kroll added that teachers were running trying to fix computers, compounded by the fact that the tests place so much stress on teachers and students. Kroll added,
… I ask that you renegotiate the contract you signed with the Georgia DOE and return $21, 560, 000 to the state. This is one-fifth of the amount of the contract, and I think it is fair to say that you did not earn it this year.
Kroll may be in good company. Across the country, school districts have been dropping CTB McGraw Hill like a hot rock. In Indiana, CTB McGraw Hill was dropped as the state’s testing vendor. In their place, Pearson was selected and awarded a two-year, $33.8 million contract . In 2014, CTB McGraw Hill’s contract with the Oklahoma Department of Education was severed due to numerous problems on their state’s equivalent of the Georgia Milestones. Oklahoma eventually ended up hiring Measured Progress to do the job.