Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Indiana Education Panel On ISTEP+ Problems: 'This Is Disastrous'

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    State superintendent Glenda Ritz leads a study session at a meeting of the State Board of Education.

    Members of the executive panel that oversees Indiana education echoed the frustrations of teachers and local school officials after two straight days of widespread problems for students taking ISTEP+ exams online.

    State superintendent Glenda Ritz kicked off the State Board of Education’s study session Wednesday with discussion of the issues as schools statewide were resuming testing, although on a limited schedule. Here are a few of the comments on the problems with ISTEP+ testing board members made during Wednesday morning’s study session:

    Dan Elsener: “Because of the impact to so many people, and leadership’s responsibility when we do evaluated. I want to know what the department can do, what the schools are going to have to have in terms of training. Our vendor, we want to evaluate that too, but we have to look at all parties — not for blame, but this is disastrous. Our educators need better leadership on this thing.”

    B.J. Watts: “The data we’re going to get is tainted, no question about it… If this were data that I were taking in my classroom to inform my instruction, I’d throw it out.”

    Mike Pettibone: “Our teachers — and everyone knows this — that we’ve created a little bit of anxiety this year. It’ll be interesting to watch this unfold to see the validity of these tests.”

    (ALSO READ — CTB/McGraw Hill’s latest statement)

    David Shane: “This is not the time an entity has used assumptions for the amount of usage and the amount of capacity and been wrong. I’m not talking about the legal issues, I just think it would be useful in the process to make sure we understand very clearly what it was in the technology, what it was in the allocation of resources that the system failed so that we don’t next time simply come up with a new set of things for how we’re going to do it and an new set of assumptions and end up with the exact same [problems]. The failure is a technology failure, it’s not a teacher failure or a school failure.”

    Jo Blacketor: “We’ve done the due diligence” on the state’s contract with CTB/McGraw Hill. She suggests the company isn’t holding up its end of the contract.

    Ritz will hold a media availability following the meeting around noon. We’ll be there. Follow @kystokes and @StateImpactIN on Twitter for the latest developments.


    About StateImpact

    StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
    Learn More »