Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

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RFP #15-008 (Archived/Bidding Closed)

Bidding is closed for this RFP and the documents provided here are for informational purposes. Current funding opportunites are available at Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

Continuing the Development of State Assessments in Elementary–and Intermediate–Level English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Measuring the Common Core State Standards

RFP Documents


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to continue the development of tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for multiple school years as defined in this RFP. The requested services include conducting field testing using both stand-alone field tests and items embedded within the operational tests, scoring the field tests, developing all operational test forms, ancillary materials, and scoring materials, and performing all analysis and research. Test development will start in July 2015 with the creation of field tests for administration in the 2015–16 school year and operational tests beginning in the 2015–16 school year. Bidders must bid on both content areas, ELA and Mathematics, and all requested grade levels.

Eligible Bidders

Eligible bidders may be either for-profit or not-for-profit entities, including large testing companies, consultants and/or educational organizations with demonstrated capacity to complete all required services.  Bidders must have experience working with the development and administration of print based and computer based large-scale assessments and educational measurement, including test development, scoring, scaling and equating, data analysis, standard setting, technical reporting, and computer based testing.


Subcontracting is limited to 30% of the annual contract budget. NYSED reserves the right to approve all subcontractors. Subcontracting is defined as non-employee, direct, personal services and related incidental expenses, including travel.

Bidders are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) participation goals for this RFP through one of three methods. Compliance methods are discussed in detail in the Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Participation Goals section below.

Method of Award

The services described in this RFP are divided into two components. Bidders are required to submit a technical proposal that clearly delineates the vendor’s plan for providing the services required in Component 1 separately from its plan for providing the additional services required in Component 2. Bidders are also required to submit costs for both components as shown in the two schedules of deliverables in Section 6 of this RFP. Following the scoring of the technical and cost proposals submitted for Components 1 and 2, NYSED will make a determination, based on available funding, whether to award a contract including both Components 1 and 2 to the bidder who received the highest total score. If it is determined that the cost of the highest ranked proposal for Components 1 and 2 combined is above the amount of funding available, then a second ranking will be completed using the portion of the technical and cost proposals submitted for Component 1 only. Please see the section on Method of Award for additional information.

Component 1 is for the development of Grades 3–8 ELA and Mathematics Tests and an operational test item bank with development of new test items dependent primarily on stand-alone field tests. In this component, the vendor will construct four forms for each of the ELA multiple-choice test book 1s and Math multiple-choice test book 1s and 2s for the operational tests. All of the operational test booklets will be printed and disseminated by NYSED. Component 2 is for the development of Computer Based Testing (CBT) capabilities for administration of Grades 3–8 ELA and Grades 3–8 Mathematics Tests. If Component 2 is implemented, the vendor will continue to execute all aspects of Component 1, unless otherwise specified, in addition to all aspects of Component 2. For Component 2 the vendor must provide system-agnostic test administration and test delivery platforms that can be used by computers at New York State’s 4,000+ public, nonpublic and charter schools to administer the tests. In Component 2, the vendor will move toward embedding all future multiple-choice items in approximately 22-28 computer delivered operational test forms per grade/subject. The printing and dissemination of the operational tests, for those schools choosing to continue to administer the tests with printed test forms will be performed by NYSED.

Terms of Contract

The contract resulting from this RFP will be for a single award with a term of five years and four months. The contract will begin on approximately July 1, 2015 and end on October 31, 2020. Bidders should refer to the Mandatory Requirements section of this RFP and to the Schedule of Deliverables located in Section 6.) Submission Documents, when preparing their proposals. Bidders must adhere to all Mandatory Requirements and perform all required deliverables.

New York State’s Transition from Paper Based Tests (PBT) to CBT

NYSED is moving toward CBT, and one intent of this project is to begin statewide large-scale operational testing through a voluntary shift from PBT to CBT administration.

The vendor must provide the technical specifications for their proposed approach to delivering and scoring tests by computer. This must include the following:

  • Minimum specifications for the computers on which the test is delivered;
  • Minimum specifications for any administrative computer associated with the computers on which the test is delivered (if applicable);
  • Minimum specifications for the networking associated with any computers involved in the delivery of tests (if applicable); and,
  • Minimum infrastructure specifications for Internet, printing, and any other applicable requirements involved in the delivery of the tests.
  • Minimum infrastructure specifications for vendor-based distributed scoring platform.

It will be at the discretion of the local school and school district whether each school will administer the tests by paper or computer, so the vendor must be prepared to provide CBTs to schools within every local school district. Because this will be the first time a statewide NYS K-12 testing program will be available for administration using a CBT delivery system, it is not known what percentage of schools will initially choose to use the CBT system. However, it is anticipated that the percentage of schools and test-takers within those schools taking the CBT will increase each school year of this contract. Some schools and individual test-takers may continue to use PBTs, due to lack of school capacity or individual student needs. The vendor must be flexible and prepared for the tests to be administered by schools via both PBT and CBT in unknown proportions.

It will be at the discretion of each school and revisable annually, as to whether they will administer by paper or computer or both. For the 2015-16 school year, schools will have the option of administering the stand-alone field tests (SAFTs) by CBT or PBT but all administrations of the operational tests will be by PBT. For all subsequent school years of this contract, schools will have the option of administering the operational tests as well as the SAFTs by either CBT or PBT. For tests administered by computer, the vendor must ensure that the test administration and test delivery platforms are compatible with the existing computers and infrastructure most often available in New York State’s schools. See Attachment N for details on the minimum technical specifications for devices to be used for CBT.

Mandatory Requirements

The eligible bidder must agree to the Mandatory Requirements found below and submit the Mandatory Requirements Certification Form located in Package B, Technical Proposal, section
6.) Proposal Submission Packages A-E, signed by an authorized person. If the bidder’s proposal fails to meet any of these mandatory requirements, it will be disqualified.

  1. Bidders must bid on all aspects of both Component 1 and 2 for both ELA and Mathematics Tests as described in this RFP for all years listed.
  2. Bidders that wish to identify proprietary information considered confidential must submit the “Request for Exemption from Disclosure Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law” located in Package A, Submission Documents, section 6.) Proposal Submission Document Packages A-E. The basis for such confidentiality must be specifically set forth on this form.
  3. Bidders must identify two fulltime program managers or one fulltime overall program manager and one fulltime assistant program manager for the contract resulting from this RFP, neither of whom may have primary responsibility for any large scale testing program in another state or with a consortium serving multiple states. The program managers must each have a Bachelor’s Degree or above and are to be the central points of contact with NYSED for this contract resulting from this RFP.
  4. The vendor must identify and maintain a full staff consisting of a minimum of three Mathematics content specialists, one each for Grades 3–4, 5–6, and 7–8, and three ELA content specialists, one each for Grades 3–4, 5–6, and 7–8 for a total of six content specialists, and at least one development supervisor for the duration of the contract.
  5. All activities proposed by the vendor must receive prior approval from NYSED.
  6. All materials must be held strictly confidential and must not be copied, duplicated, or disseminated by any manner or discussed with anyone except as authorized by NYSED.

Components contained in RFP # 15-008 are as follows:

Components contained in RFP # 15-008 are as follows:

  1. Description of Services to be Performed
  2. Proposal Submission
  3. Evaluation Criteria and Method of Award
  4. Assurances
  5. Attachments
  6. Proposal Submission Packages A-E

Questions and Answers

Questions regarding the request must be submitted by E-mail to AssessmentRFP@nysed.gov no later than the close of business March 2, 2015. Questions regarding this request should be identified as Program, Fiscal or M/WBE. A Questions and Answers Summary will be posted here no later than March 13, 2015.

Contact Information for Questions
Program Matters
Fiscal Matters
M/WBE Matters

Victoria Mahar

Jessica Hartjen

Joan Ramsey

Submission Instructions

The following proposal submission packages must be submitted in separately sealed envelopes as detailed in the Proposal Submission section of this RFP no later than April 2, 2015 by 3:00 p.m.

  1. Submission Documents labeled: Submission Documents - RFP #15-008 Do Not Open
  2. Technical Proposal—Eight (8) copies (one bearing an original signature) – Submitted in a sealed envelope labeled Technical Proposal - RFP# 15-008 Do Not Open
  3. Cost Proposal—Three (3) copies (one bearing an original signature) - Submitted in a separate sealed envelope labeled Cost Proposal - RFP # 15-008 Do Not Open
  4. M/WBE Documents—Three (3) copies (one bearing an original signature) for each component-in a separate sealed envelope labeled M/WBE Documents - RFP # 15-008 Do Not Open.
  5. CD-ROMs—Two (2) copies each containing technical/cost proposal, M/WBE and Submission Documents labeled: CD-ROM– RFP #15-008 Do Not Open

The mailing address for all the above documentation is:

NYS Education Department
Bureau of Fiscal Management
Attention: Jessica Hartjen, RFP #15-008
Contract Administration Unit, Room 503W EB
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

(Facsimile copies of the proposals are NOT acceptable)

RFP Documents

RFP Document in PDF PDF icon (3.66 MB) | RFP Document in Word Word document icon (843 KB)

Last Updated: November 14, 2016 5:09 PM