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Schools Alerted to Confusing Question On ISTEP Test

Posted On March 04, 2016

 By Mike Perleberg

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(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Schools across Indiana are scrambling, trying to figure out what to do about another flawed question on the ISTEP+ test.

The testing window for ISTEP+ opened Monday. Third through 8th graders across the state will continue taking the test into April.

The Indianapolis Star reported Thursday that it has obtained a copy of a memo from the Indiana Department of Education to schools explaining a math question on the 6th grade test may be too confusing for students. The flaw only affected schools giving the first round of the ISTEP+ by paper and whose students had already completed that portion of the test.

Students will continue to answer the question, however, it won’t be counted toward their score.

It is unclear if any southeast Indiana schools were affected by the test question.

The questionable question is just the latest problem for the ISTEP+ test, despite the state hiring a new vendor – Pearson Education – to administer the test this year and next. Tougher state education standards and lengthy testing times for 2015’s test caused a drop in student scores statewide.

Lawmakers are working on a bill that could see the state adopt a new standardized test as soon as 2017. House Bill 1395 would create a 22-member panel of academic experts teachers, and administrators to investigate reducing costs and restoring fairness with a new test.

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