State Board of Education works to track down missing test scores

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Students statewide might not have complete state-mandated testing. 

The Utah State Board of Education says it’s investigating after its testing vendor, Questar Assessments, failed. 

The state says it is working to fix the problem and has broken its $4.8 million contract with Questar. 

“There were multiple requirements in the contract that Questar agreed to that they had either delivered late or failed to deliver,” Darin Nielsen Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Utah State Board of Education said. 

The Board says if the Risk Test was completed, the score was recorded. 
A state audit report found 3,546 tests without a score and a participation number. 

“The 3,500 isn’t students; if I’m a student I may have 3 or 4 tests,” Nielsen said. “They won’t be completed. We tested last spring, we’re in a new testing cycle.”

The Board says the fact that those tests are missing falls on Questar’s shoulders. 

“It’s influenced heavily by Questar. The responsibility to enter them is at the LEA level we don’t have a history LEA’s staff not doing it, it’s an anomaly this year,” Nielsen said. 

But Questar has a history of glitches, and not providing accurate information. Which the audit says the state knew about before signing with the company. 

“Where it gets confusing they had a parent company ETS that bought them; during our procurement process ETS had findings,” Nielsen said. 

The board says at last check it’s out $9 million but is currently going through the liquidation process so damages could be less. 

Questar’s Chief Operating Officer sent ABC4 the following statement in response:

“At Questar Assessment Inc., the accuracy of our assessments is our top priority. We are dedicated to our technology and ensuring the stability of our testing platform in the future.”

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