Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

September 10, 2013

Scores from troubled test available to students

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education released ISTEP scores to the families of students Monday but is still working on tallies for schools and school districts.

Parents can log on to a state website to receive individual test scores, which were posted Monday. But Daniel Altman, a department spokesman, said he expects the school and school district scores to be completed in the coming weeks.

The rollout of the scores, typically released around the start of summer each year, was delayed following widespread troubles this past spring with the online test built for the state by CTB/McGraw-Hill.

A report released in July found about 80,000 students in third- through eighth grade had at least one part of the statewide standardized test interrupted when server glitches from a state contractor kicked them offline. That’s about 16 percent of all students who took the test.

The report’s author, Richard Hill, of the National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment, determined the interruptions had little effect on the scores. He still recommended about 1,400 results be thrown out to avoid tainting the other test scores.

The scores are used in calculating teacher pay and school funding, as well as school grades under the state’s “A-F” system. Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz has said local school leaders have leeway in limiting how much the scores are used to set teacher pay this year.

Ritz, meanwhile, is seeking $614,000 in damages from CTB/McGraw-Hill under provisions included in the state’s $95 million contract with the company. President Ellen Haley apologized for the interruptions this past summer in a legislative hearing called to review the troubles.

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