Minn. in market for new student testing company

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota and its main student testing contractor are parting ways after a rocky run.

Washington, D.C.-based testing company American Institutes for Research says it isn’t going to seek renewal of its $61 million contract with the state Department of Education. The state is soliciting bidders to replace the contractor after its three-year deal expires next year.

It comes amid frustration over technical glitches that affected tests taken by thousands of students last spring. Education department officials have documented problems they’ve had with the company, ranging from issue with test questions and scoring to inability to meet deadlines. Even so, the state decided against seeking penalties against the contractor.

Company officials say problems rest with ever-changing demands by the department.

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