State Plans Mandatory Assessment Tests
The Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Denise Juneau says she plans to make next year's student assessments in math and English mandatory after a technical glitch in April kept 18 percent of the students from completing the test.
Montana is one of 17 states that participates in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
The consortium developed online tests intended to align with Common Core Standards.
Montana, along with North Dakota and Nevada, hired a company called Measured Progress to administer the tests but each state ran into technical glitches last spring.
Now, the state is withholding payment from Measured Progress because test results are not available.
"About $118,000 each month and we are two months in so far. So, until we receive those test results, we won't be paying them," said Juneau.
Montana also received $375,000 from Smarter Balanced because of the glitch. That's about half of what the state pays the consortium every year.