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September 18, 2013

ISTEP scores released after months-long delay

Results show continued improvement in math, English.

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

The data released Wednesday show a wide range of results for individual schools; while some schools saw more than 90 percent of their students pass ISTEP, there were some schools that saw only about one-third of their students pass the test.  

The numbers released Wednesday are still considered preliminary and won’t be finalized until after students and parents have the opportunity to request a re-evaluation of how the “applied skills” portion of the test was scored, according to DOE officials. Also, the results of the new science portion of the test aren’t expected to be released until late October.

The test results have come under close scrutiny by DOE officials since the computer problems threw a wrench into the test taking last spring. Ritz opted to delay release of the test scores until after they were reviewed by Richard Hill, director of the New Hampshire-based National Center for the Improvement of Education Assessment. Hill looked at more than 79,000 tests that had been interrupted, and has recommended that nearly 1,400 scores be thrown out. But Hill also concluded that overall, the widespread testing interruptions appeared to have minimal impact on most student test scores.

Meanwhile, the DOE has requested $613,600 in damages from the online testing company, CTB/McGraw-Hill. The company has apologized for the computer problems during the ISTEP testing window and blamed the problems on computer servers that were overloaded by too many test-takers.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

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