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Nebraska education board mulls contract with testing company

May 5, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Department of Education is considering a five-year, $29.2 million contract with a company that's offering a new approach to the majority of statewide academic tests for elementary students.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports the education board has chosen the Northwest Evaluation Association to give reading, math and science tests to third- through eighth-graders.

After recurring technical problems with a previously contracted company, state officials decided to seek other proposals that broadened the testing company's role and changed the questions' formatting. The change is part of a larger effort to create an accountability system for schools that relies on more than test scores.

State education assessment director Valorie Foy says Northwest's proposal includes assessments schools can use to gauge student performance in addition to the state tests.

The board will vote on the contract Friday.

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