- Associated Press - Friday, September 4, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana will receive $375,000 from a testing company that botched the state’s student assessments this spring.

Office of Public Instruction spokeswoman Emilie Ritter Saunders said this week that the credit amounts to about half-off of its annual fees with testing consortium Smarter Balanced.

Saunders says the state is continuing to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars from Measured Progress until it provides overdue test results. That company administered the exams using a new, online system.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau made the annual tests optional after widespread technical errors in April.

Student participation in the exams dropped from 95 percent in 2014 to 82 percent this year.

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