Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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May 2, 2013

Testing fails the test

ISTEP delays wreak havoc on local schools

(Continued)

Petraits said the BCSC intends to finish the elementary school portion of the test this week and then have the middle school students to their ISTEP testing next week, which could hamper family plans.

“We ask parents not to schedule appointments during testing,” she said. “So they’ve already rescheduled those things, and now a number of them will have to reschedule things for middle school students. It’s a big inconvenience for parents and a lot of people aren’t looking at that issue.”

Stacey Moore, community relations coordinator for the Avon Community School Corporation, also expressed frustration in the delays and altered testing schedule.

“A lot of emphasis is put on the ISTEP, and we spend a lot of time preparing,” she said. “With testing only 50 percent, it still wreaks havoc with the school schedule and it’s complex for our staff and students. This has been a frustrating situation for all of us.”

King believes scores from Monday and Tuesday should be thrown out and students allowed to start again. He said it’s worked fine since moving to 50 percent capacity.

Oklahoma also experienced similar problems with the CTB/McGraw Hill servers.

He also said that though there will be an investigation into the validity of the scores, he has concerns about that process as well.

“There is a team of educational scientists that check the validity based upon requirements, but my concerns are that they don’t know our students,” he said. “I’m sure they’re looking at how the students have done in the past, but they don’t know how our students reacted to it. I also question CTB doing the validity questions when they administered the testing. I think there needs to be a separate agency.”

Both King and Petraits said the Indiana Department of Education has been very helpful in the process, and that they shouldn’t bear the blame for this issue. And while concerns regarding online ISTEP testing will be louder than ever, neither was calling for a return to paper, just a more consistent system.

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