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Indiana recommends nearly $134M in student testing contracts

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz is blasting a state recommendation to award nearly $134 million to six vendors to develop and administer tests for state’s students.

The Indiana Department of Administration posted award letters Wednesday after a bid process to administer Indiana’s student assessments through the spring of 2017.

Ritz called the costs “astronomical” in a statement and called for streamlining the tests given to thousands of students.

The contracts include $38 million to vendor Pearson for the ISTEP+ exam that is taken by about 450,000 students in grades 3 through 8. The test has been administered by CTB/McGraw-Hill and has been marred by testing interruptions in recent years.

A bill moving through the Legislature calls for switching from the ISTEP+ exam to a national test.