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State Education Department is examining state test error
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MPB Staff

A state testing debacle is leaving Mississippi education leaders uncovering just how many students are effected. MPB's Alexis Ware reports 


The Mississippi Department of Education is sorting through test files to determine how many students are affected by a U.S History test score mishap. Pearson, a test vendor agency, incorrectly scored tests of 951 graduating students. The false results allowed some students to mistakenly graduate. While others could not receive their diploma. 

Paula Vanderford is with the Department of Education. 

"We are trying to determine the impact that this has had statewide of the 951 student that has yet to be determined," Vanderford says. 

On Friday, the Board of Education voted to suspend its contract with Pearson. 

In a statement Pearson Spokesperson Laura Howe says the company is working with the Department of Education to correct the scores. She says  
they are disappointed by the board's decision but are ready to assist the state in any way possible. 

The Department is signing a one-year emergency contract with another vendor, Questar.

Vanderford says Questar was the best choice for the schools across the state. 

"Questar is the only vendor that we currently have a contract with that is capable to pick up and have an assessment ready. We're familiar with their platform but more importantly the students and the districts are familiar with the platform, so this is the most seamless transition," Vanderford says.

The Department says Pearson has until June 23 to turnover all of the files for the tests.