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[s14] KRUSE REPORT: Difficulties with ISTEP+
Start Date: 6/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 6/14/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
It’s no secret ISTEP+ experienced technical problems this year that caused many problems for schools, teachers and, most importantly, our students. The issues affected some students’ ability to complete various sections of the test, creating a very stressful environment for all. These problems are unacceptable and need to be carefully reviewed, because our students deserve better.

Due to the recurring problems with the test, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) had to suspend testing on Tuesday, April 30, in order to minimize further disruptions for schools around the state. IDOE also requested schools reduce their daily testing load by half to help with the online capacity levels.

To prevent these issues in the future and determine what we will do with this year’s test, the Indiana Legislative Council has tasked a committee of lawmakers with examining ISTEP glitches over the summer. Members will meet with representatives from online test vendor CTB/McGraw Hill to discuss why the problems occurred and to make sure they don’t happen again. In addition, IDOE will have the opportunity to testify about their experience and plans going forward. Superintendents, educators and members of the general public are encouraged to give testimony. This daylong hearing will take place in Indianapolis in mid-June.

In 2011, IDOE and the State of Indiana signed a four-year $95 million contract with CTB/McGraw Hill to administer the tests. Since we are in our final year of the contract, the committee hearing will give the state and IDOE the opportunity to review the company or possibly think about switching to a new third-party vendor.

Indiana’s ISTEP test has been around for almost 30 years and has evolved significantly over the years. It was created in 1987 and first administered to particular grade levels the following year. In 1995, ISTEP changed to ISTEP+ and since 2000, the test has been included in Indiana’s academic standards.   

School performance and improvement grades as well as performance funding for teachers are based on the test results each school receives. Most importantly, the glitches created unneeded anxiety on students.

In the upcoming weeks, IDOE will have some important decisions to make regarding the results. Do we keep them? Do we throw it all out? Keep some of it? This summer’s hearing will help Indiana make the best decision for Hoosier students in the aftermath of this unfortunate incident.

What do you think?
Contact Information:
Name: Brady Hagerty
Phone: 317-232-9425
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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