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For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 22, 2000
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126

Education Commissioner Signs MCAS Contract With Harcourt

Malden - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll today signed a five-year, $71 million contract with Harcourt Educational Measurement of San Antonio, Texas, to serve as the MCAS test contractor through 2005.

The Education Commissioner selected Harcourt because of the company's commitment to provide the state with MCAS results more quickly, and at a very competitive price for the contract. The contract also includes an innovative liquidated damages provision, which creates a financial penalty of about 13 percent of the contract each year ($2 million), in the event that there are delays or inaccuracies in administering the tests, or scoring or reporting the results.

Commissioner Driscoll said, "We believe that this provision is one of the most aggressive in the nation. While we never expect to use the provision, I am confident that this agreement indicates Harcourt's commitment to provide MCAS scores in an accurate and timely fashion."

" We recognize the important role of assessment in the success of education reform, and for the absolute necessity that the test results are accurate. I look forward to working with Harcourt to continue strengthening what is nationally considered an already strong assessment program," Driscoll said.

John Dilworth, Chairman of Harcourt Educational Measurement said, "We are pleased to have signed the MCAS contract and believe that it signals a long and productive relationship between Harcourt and the Massachusetts Department of Education. We take this partnership seriously and we will do all that is humanly possible to make MCAS the most successful assessment program in the country."

Harcourt will be scoring the results of the 2000 MCAS test this summer, and reporting the scores in the fall.

For more information visit the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System website.

Last Updated: June 22, 2000
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