MEMPHIS, Tenn — The state of Tennessee and a testing company it fired last year are now locked in a legal battle.
That company's contract was terminated after a series of issues with the TNReady standardized test.
We've learned that the company, Measurement Incorporated, is suing the Tennessee Department of Education for millions of dollars. The company says it was wrongfully fired, and could have fixed the initial problem that came up with the testing, but wasn't given a fair chance.
This legal battle stems from what happened in February last year. Students were having trouble logging on to take the TNReady test online.
It got so bad that the State scratched the online version, and switched to a paper test instead.
But after delays with those tests the state fired Measurement Inc.
"It has become a nightmare," said Keith Williams, Executive Director of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association.
He can't believe Measurement Inc. is suing the state for breach of contract and demanding roughly $25.7 million.
"They did not deliver and should not be paid," said Williams.
The lawsuit says Measurement Inc. could have fixed the problem quickly, but wasn't told about it in a timely manner or given adequate time to address it.
The suit also says this quick fix would have been much more efficient than forcing the company to come up with different versions of a paper test, and send them out.
"It is a complete and mammoth waste of taxpayer resources," said Williams.
Williams wishes the state didn't have to spend money on this legal battle.
"It does not help children. It does not help the educational process," said Williams. "It does not help the state. Our limited resources certainly cannot be spent in courtrooms."
Measurement Inc. was roughly one year in to a five year contract.
Currently the state is contracting with a company called Questar for standardized testing services.
The State Attorney General's Office will file a response to the suit this month.