The Oregon Department of Education has hired a new contractor to deliver statewide online testing services after questions were raised regarding the quality of the previous contractor's services, reports the Oregonian.
The American Institutes for Research, based in Washington D.C., has signed a five-year contract to administer math, reading and science tests. They will be paid $5 million the first year, including $2 million in startup costs, and $3 million annually afterward, announced Superintendent of Schools Susan Castillo.
A dispute arose with the previous testing contractor, Vantage Learning, after periodic outages when students could not gain access to the online tests. This year, students were given paper and pencil tests.
A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Education said students will be able to get immediate results from the online test, that more students can be tested at the same time, and it will be possible to track how individual students have performed on tests over time.