The ISTEP+ testing will resume Wednesday after two days of interruptions with the online testing system. The Indiana Department of Education says the decision to resume testing was made based upon assurances made by CTB McGraw-Hill, the company which administers the test.
CTB says students impacted by the interruptions will be able to continue where they left off and no data was lost. As a precaution, the Department of Education is asking schools to decrease their daily test load by 50 percent until further notice.
The online testing system began under the administration of former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, who now serves as Commissioner of Education in Florida.
In the three years his administration oversaw the online ISTEP+ testing, Bennett says they had their issues as well. Bennett says, especially during the 2011 tests when they saw numerous problems, the tests affected by those problems were reviewed.
“When we had the problems we actually went through a process of reviewing the affected assessments, the affected students and we had to make determinations regarding the validation of scores,” Bennett says.
Neither CTB nor the Department of Education has said if that will occur this year.
Bennett says there are many advantages to using the online testing, including the speed in which the results are given. He says, though, that the old “paper and pencil” testing should be available as a backup in case of problems with the online system.