ISTEP MESS: State’s Consultant Says ISTEP Scores NOT Impacted By Test’s Problems

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istep logoAfter an investigation by a noted education and testing consultant, the Indiana Department of Education has announced that the problems with the on line phase of this year’s ISTEP tests didn’t negatively impact student’s test scores. A couple of months ago, in response to widespread problems associated with CTB McGraw-Hill’s administration of the high-stakes ISTEP tests, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz hired Dr. Richard Hill, of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, to review the results. Dr. Hill released to the public a massive detailed report, but the simple conclusion was as follows: “There is considerable evidence that the interruptions had no negative impact on student scores for the vast majority of students; indeed, students who were interrupted had somewhat larger gains across years than those who were not interrupted.”

      “Because of the efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents, as well as the swift and decisive actions taken by Superintendent Ritz” said Dr. Hill, “The average negative statewide impact on scores was not measurable”.  Dr. Hill added, “This does not mitigate the effect the interruptions had on students, parents and teachers throughout Indiana.

But, Dr. Hill added that, “At this time, the exact impact of interruptions at the individual, classroom and teacher level cannot be ascertained”.

In response to Dr. Hill’s report, Superintendent Ritz has told local schools and districts that they have “the flexibility they need to minimize the effect these tests have on various matters, such as teacher evaluation and compensation.”  Superintendent Ritz has order the ISTEP test maker CTB/McGraw Hill to conduct stress and load tests to prepare for the 2014 ISTEP tests so that this problem “never happens again”. And Ritz said her Department is in ongoing negotiations with McGraw Hill regarding settlement of damages and claims.  The Department of Education’s report also showed the extent of “student interruptions” of their ISTEP tests.  Of the major school, districts in the Indianapolis area, Lawrence Township had the highest percentage and highest number of students affected.  Some 47% of their Lawrence Township students taking ISTEP 2,972 had interrupts.  Most of those were interrupted taking the math portion of the third through eighth grade exams.  The district with the next highest percentage of interruptions was Beech Grove with 27%, followed by Pike Township (26%), Perry (25%) and Washington Township (23%).  The area major area district with the lower percentage of interruptions was Brownsburg (6%) followed by Speedway (7%) and Mt. Vernon Community (11%).

The Indianapolis Public Schools only had 17% or 2,319 of their ISTEP taking students impacted by interruptions. In number of students that’s the second highest total, but in percentages eighth highest.

DISTRICT

% Interrupted

# Interrupted

Lawrence Township

47%

2,972

Beech Grove

27%

329

Pike Township

26%

1,244

Perry Township

25%

1,603

Washington Township

23%

1,096

Franklin Township

19%

747

IPS

17%

2,319

Hamilton Southeastern

17%

1,609

WarrenTownship

17%

866

Wayne Township

16%

1,091

Carmel-Clay

16%

1,169

Decatur Township

14%

385

Avon

14%

566

Mt. Vernon

11%

178

Noblesville

10%

448

Speedway

7%

52

Brownsburg

6%

223

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