Update on State Fine for CTBS Test Security Violation

June 5, 2001
[The following is the text of a letter received yesterday (Monday, June 4) from Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, detailing the cost of the state fine being imposed as a result of the CTBS security violations at Silver Spring International Middle School.]

Dr. Jerry E. Weast

Superintendent of Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools

850 Hungerford Drive

Rockville MD 20850

Dear Dr. Weast:

The security breach that occurred at Silver Spring International Middle School during this year's administration of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills/5 (CTBS/5), has resulted in the invalidation of the 6th grade 2001 scores at the school. In addition, the specific nature of the security breach has rendered the test invalid for administration statewide. We have been in contact with the test publisher, CTB-McGraw Hill to ascertain the most cost-effective remedy that will assure validity of the assessment for the 2002 and subsequent test administrations.

We have been effective in securing a reduced price for the replacement of the CTBS/5 that is lower than the initial estimates through negotiations with CTB-McGraw Hill. The reductions secured are related to a state discount in the price and no additional charges for services such as scoring and analysis, which will continue at previous rates. In examining the projected grade 6 enrollment for the 2002 test administration, we noted that we will need to purchase test materials for 67,431 students. The replacement cost will include student test booklets and support materials for all students.

The assessed costs for the replacement of grade 6 CTBS/5 statewide will be $424,275.85. We would expect Montgomery County Public Schools to reimburse the Maryland State Department of Education for the purchase of a new form of CTBS/5 in time for the Spring 2002 test administration.

Thank you for your leadership and courage in dealing with this challenging situation. Your continued cooperation in restoring a fair testing situation for students statewide is much appreciated.


Nancy S. Grasmick

State Superintendent of Schools


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