Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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May 3, 2013

Testing fails the test

ISTEP delays wreak havoc on local schools

— ISTEP 2013 will be remembered for its chaos, as CTB/McGraw Hill server glitches caused two-day delays, student frustration, and school administrators concern with the validity of the results when the testing period is finally over.

Schools across the state were instructed Wednesday to test only 50 percent of their students at a time in an effort to help the system run more smoothly. The system was unable to handle the full volume of students Monday and, despite promises that the system was fixed by Tuesday, it still had problems causing another shut down.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Education Glenda Ritz called the delays “unacceptable.”

The impact was felt locally as well, as testing will not continue into next week.

Northwest Hendricks School Corporation Superintendent Rusty King said he is very concerned at this point what the scores will reflect.

“I’ve expressed my concerns to the state,” he said. “There could be a lack of validity to the test because kids are getting kicked out and getting frustrated. I don’t think they’ll be getting accurate results. They just couldn’t handle (the volume) of kids and they didn’t do a good check to make sure they could.”

Donna Petraits, communications coordinator for the Brownsburg Community School Corporation, said that because so much emphasis is put on this testing format, it was a let-down that had a ripple effect on not only students and teachers, but families as well.

“We really pump the kids up and get them excited and get them confident, so it was like when the lights went out in New Orleans in the Super Bowl earlier this year,” she said. “It’s hard to say how that will affect them. I think now that things are functioning normally, even though we’re at 50 percent (student testing at a time), we’ve had to split up our kids.”

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