Rival Testing Vendors Could Lead to Smarter Balanced Meltdown

nevada-state-flagAnd the buck stops where????  A blame game is being played after Nevada experienced a colossal failure with their delivery of the Smarter Balanced Assessment statewide.  They halted testing and deemed Smarter Balanced and Measured Progress to be in breach of their contracts.

EdWeek reports:

But the testing provider accused of botching the assessments,Measured Progress, has said the responsibility lies at least partly with another vendor, the American Institutes for Research, which it claims was late in delivering critical software needed to make sure the exams could be administered smoothly.

The dust-up is the latest of the battles that have erupted in a number of states, including California and New Mexico, over common-core testing contracts.

But Nevada’s woes underscore another reality, at least for states belonging to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: In some cases, they’re counting on different testing vendors—who may be rivals—with different responsibilities to help them carry out ambitious new online exams under tight deadlines.

Measured Progress released its own statement. Without naming names, the company pointed to “multiple and delayed deliveries of the source code” that it said was necessary to ensure that the Nevada assessment could be sufficiently tested so it would perform as expected when large numbers of test-takers were on it.

Of 19 major components required from the AIR for the open-source test delivery platform, five were released in January or later, and one was delivered in November, which was after the Sept. 30, 2014 release of most of the code, according to Smarter Balanced. The consortium indicated in an email that the AIR made some of the source code or precursors to it available months before the final delivery dates.