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Wyoming Reaches $5 Million Settlement For PAWS

The Wyoming Department of Education released the settlement agreement they reached on Monday with NCS Pearson, Inc related to the administration of the 2009-2010 Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students (PAWS). The total value of the financial settlement is $5,125,497.

In the settlement it states the State of Wyoming and the Department of Education found the delivery of the on-line testing platform by NCS Pearson during the 2009-2010 PAWS administration to be “unacceptable and unsatisfactory”. The settlement also mentions that in response to the failure of the on-line testing, the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 assessments were switched back to a paper-and-pencil format for grades 3-8, 10 and 11.

The value of the conversion of the 2010-2011 assessment from electronic platform to paper-pencil platform at no cost to state was agreed to be $1,151,119. Liquidated damages for late delivery was valued at $1,290,000 and settlement of other damages came to $2,684,378 to bring the total to just over $5 million.

The Associated Press reports a Pearson spokesman hopes the settlement renews a positive and productive relationship with the state. The four-year, $40-million contract between Wyoming and Pearson is set to expire after next year’s test.

A release from Cindy Hill, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, says the Wyoming Department of Education will use a portion of the settlement dollars on a statewide training initiative called Teacher-to-Teacher (T2T). The goal of T2T is to improve the reading skills of Wyoming students. T2T training will take place between August 2011 and November 2011 in the form of a two day teacher workshop. In Laramie, the training will be on October 28-29.

As a direct result of this matter, the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information will require all future contracts of this nature to include a 100% liquidated damage clause according to Hill’s release.

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