Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Schools Triple-Checking Online System Before Spring ISTEP+ Test

CTB/McGraw-Hill president Ellen Haley addresses the Indiana Commission on Education. The testing company executive answered lawmakers' questions about what went wrong with the exam and apologized for the disruptions.

CTB/McGraw-Hill president Ellen Haley addresses the Indiana Commission on Education. The testing company executive answered lawmakers' questions about what went wrong during the 2013 exam and apologized for the disruptions.

Indiana schools gearing up to administer the spring ISTEP+ test are worried computer problems could again disrupt students’ exams, reports Rich Van Wyk for WTHR:

Last year, widespread computer glitches disrupted the exam taken by almost half a million students. One in three couldn’t sign on, were kicked off or had to retake portions of the exam.

Test provider CTB/McGraw Hill took responsibility for the vast majority of the problems. Since then the company and schools have upgraded and tested their systems.

In Franklin Township, information technology workers with the school district worked with their counterparts at McGraw Hill to run test after test. The superintendent says only one went completely right.

“Everything we’ve turned into them shows there is nothing wrong with our servers, our bandwidth or firewall,” [Superintendent Flora] Reichanadter said.

Along with frustration, Reichanadter worries other schools are in the same dilemma but aren’t aware of it.

“Either they are not having the same problem at the same magnitude as we are, or they don’t recognize it yet,” she warned.

Last year the problems began when schools in other states began logging in to take their exams, kicking off students who were already mid-session. Van Wyk reports that Indiana schools have their own bank of servers this year.

An outside evaluation conducted last summer concluded the disruptions did not have a significant impact on ISTEP+ scores.

Comments

  • Jme

    ISTEP is such a monumental waste of education funding and resources. It’s amazing to me that Indiana follows along with the junk science of standardized curriculum and testing.

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