|Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction|
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - The Indiana Department of Education is hiring a company to review this year's ISTEP+ test results.
More than 78,000 students statewide were affected by the testing problems in April and May, including a number of students locally. Rising Sun-Ohio County Schools Superintendent Steve Patz called the situation a “complete fiasco” at the time.
The company handling the online test, CTB McGraw-Hill, said the interruptions are caused by its servers being overloaded. Schools were asked to compensate by testing only half of students at a time.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Monday the IDOE has asked the New Hampshire-based National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment to check whether the computer glitches and delays affected scores.
“They may be comparing students’ information and test results prior to the interruption; looking at it after the interruption,” Ritz said.
In Indiana, test results are a large part in grading schools’ performance and subsequently teacher compensation. Teresa Meredith from the Indiana State Teachers Association said the review is appropriate.
“It’s very frustrating because it will also mean that teachers won’t get their evaluation results, their final scores, until much later than probably anticipated,” Meredith said.
Those results could come in July in the earlier estimation of CTB McGraw-Hill.
No matter what the review finds, Ritz said she would like to see changes in the ISTEP+ test. She’s been critical of the standardized test since campaigning for office in 2012.
“I’m hoping that the state of Indiana wants to reduce the high stakes attached to this test. It should be about student learning,” Ritz said.