MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After cyber attacks halted testing in Minnesota schools this spring, the state’s testing contractor, Pearson, has reached a settlement with the Department of Education worth more than $5 million.

Pearson will credit the department $1 million in fees and provide up to $4.69 million worth of additional services and tools for students, the Department of Education announced Monday.

“The disruptions experienced by students and teachers this spring were simply unacceptable,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. “Pearson has been working with us in good faith to arrive at this significant settlement that provides us with assurances, and recognizes the magnitude of the impacts that the failures had on the state.”

A third-party “distributed denial of service attack” overloaded Pearson’s system in April and May, causing Cassellius to twice suspend testing.

Next year Pearson will move its testing of Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments to a cloud-based testing platform, which has added security and data controls.

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