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TEA News Releases Online Aug. 23, 2016
TEA announces ETS liquidated damages

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that the Texas Education Agency will assess Educational Testing Services (ETS) – the company responsible for the statewide delivery and administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) – with liquidated damages in the amount of $5.7 million dollars and directed ETS to invest $15 million for a total of $20.7 million.

The $20.7 million addresses various logistical issues encountered by students and school systems during statewide STAAR administration in the 2015-2016 school year.

Commissioner Morath has also directed ETS to invest $15 million of its own funds toward an action plan that addresses a number of areas of concern this past school year. Those areas include: online testing system enrollment; shipping; online testing; precoding; and scoring and reporting.
 
“I believe this combination of liquidated damages with an additional financial commitment from ETS reflects the correct balance of accountability for the recent past and safeguards for the future,” said Commissioner Morath.

As a direct result of the various issues during the 2015-2016 school year, ETS has advised Commissioner Morath that the company provided support services to school districts and charters across the state totaling approximately $20 million. These costs – which the company will assume – are above and beyond the state contract.

ETS currently holds the state contract for the administration of STAAR 3–8 and high school STAAR End-of-Course exams. That contract was awarded in 2015.