McGraw-Hill Takes Responsibility For Statewide Testing Problems In OK

Thursday, April 24th 2014, 6:11 pm
By: News 9

Two days have passed without any issues, but an explanation is still warranted after Monday's statewide school testing disruption. So the president of the testing company, McGraw-Hill, is in town to address the state board of education.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi used the words frustrated and outraged to describe her feelings toward McGraw-Hill after Monday's test debacle. Now the company's president is here to apologize and take full responsibility.

"We want to apologize to the state, the students and the teachers," said McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley. "To have any disruption at all is unacceptable."

Haley and McGraw-Hill CIO Ray Lowery stood in front of the board of education on Thursday.

"To have this unexpected hardware event happen, this is an event," said Lowery. "We understand and you are in a difficult situation."

Why is the biggest question they faced. Why did McGraw-Hill's system fail Monday disrupting more than 8,250 students statewide?

4/22/2014 Related Story: Some OK School Districts Still Upset Over State Testing Issues

"The communications between one level to another was not at the pace it needed to be," said Haley.

Why would the state renew the almost $14 Million dollar contract for a third year. And a third chance at yet another system failure.

"Everything that goes into that total service is very unique and they do a fantastic job," Lowery said.

After the board thanked the representatives for coming to Oklahoma, Haley and Lowery re-affirmed they do believe the state should renew the contract with their testing company and reassured the hardware failure was their responsibility, yet, out of their hands.

"It was running slower and telling student it wasn't ready and that caused the disruption," said Lowery.

"I'm just trying to set the expectation that when you have large scale technology, things can happen out of your control," said Haley.

Haley also informed the board the hardware problem was fixed by 11 a.m. Monday. So far over 100,000 tests have been completed without interruption.