ISTEP “Fiasco” Affects Local Schools

Posted On May 01, 2013

image(Rising Sun, Ind.) – Online ISTEP+ testing should be able to resume Wednesday after computer glitches have interrupted two days of the test.


Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz ordered that the online exam be suspended statewide Tuesday for the second day in a row because of computer issue. Schools all across the state, including Rising Sun-Ohio County Schools, were having issues with students logging in and being kicked out of the program.


“I am greatly disappointed to learn that Indiana schools had their ISTEP+ testing interrupted for the second consecutive day. Like all Hoosier parents, students and teachers, I find these interruptions frustrating and unacceptable,” Ritz said.


The state-contracted company in charge of the online testing, CTB McGraw-Hill, has said the interruptions are caused by servers being overloaded.


Rising Sun-Ohio County Schools superintendent Steve Patz said Wednesday that the errors have become a “complete fiasco” on McGraw-Hill’s end.


“It’s frustrating for teachers and kids. It’s a high stakes exam and now kids are being bumped out of the system,” said Patz, adding that the state is advising schools to test only half of students at a time.


The Indiana State Teachers Association demanded Tuesday that the issue be fixed immediately.


“Under recent changes in state law, ISTEP no longer represents just student proficiency at a given point in time, but now drives school grades, individual teacher evaluations and, in a significant way, a teacher’s compensation,” an ISTA statement said.


The teachers union also said McGraw-Hill is making millions of dollars from the state ISTEP+ contract and needs to explain why stress testing on the system wasn’t conducted in advance of the real test.