Indiana News

Release of ISTEP+ Scores Delayed

8/27/2013

It appears ISTEP-Plus scores will be issued later than what the state Department of Education had hoped.

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Last week, State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz was still saying the scores that were delayed due to an investigation into testing interruptions during online testing in the spring would be ready by the end of this month.  But in an email to school districts obtained by WIBC, Ritz told them that ISTEP student reports would be sent to schools and parents on September 9th.  That date was later described as a "target date" by department spokesman Daniel Altman.

"The office of assessment is developing guidance for schools and families in the form of WebEx and print materials in advance of September 9th," the email read.  "Shortly following this release, we hope to release all data needed to inform your work on School Improvement Plans and staff performance evaluation.  The School Improvement submission date for this fall is being extended to November 1."

CTB-McGraw Hill, the company that makes the ISTEP-Plus, said a lack of memory in their servers caused the interruptions in the online version of ISTEP during the first two days of testing.  Ritz has said her department will seek a fine of $614,000 from the company for the testing delays, and CTB has said it has made improvements to the servers so as to avoid similar problems next year.

Ritz has said she hopes school districts will reduce the impact of ISTEP scores on teacher evaluation, even though an independent investigation showed that scores appear to have gone up despite the testing interruptions.  There also is no word on how ISTEP will be used in the formation of the A-F letter grades for schools, nor when those grades will be issued.  Several investigations are still taking place into the changing of the A-F grading formula last September by the staff of then-State School Superintendent Tony Bennett.  The formula was changed when it appeared that a top charter school, Christel House, would get a grade of C.

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