05/01/13 The ISTA (Indiana State Teachers Association) is seeking assurances that the problems incurred over the last two days of ISTEP testing will be resolved. Students in grades third through eighth began testing online on Monday. On both Monday and Tuesday glitches halted the testing on student computers, some stopping in mid-test.
The following was a part of the statement released by the organization on Tuesday: “After the second day of ISTEP testing problems created by the ISTEP corporate vendor, ISTA demands assurances that the fire/misfire, fire/misfire, fire/misfire testing scenario be addressed and fixed immediately.” The release incorporated the impact on new state laws on teachers. According to the release, that was unsigned by any one individual, “ISTEP no longer represents just student proficiency at a given point in time, but now drives school grades, individual teacher evaluations and, in a significant way, a teacher’s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”.
Referring to McGraw-Hill, provider for the online test, ISTA said, “Because of current “school reform efforts” Hoosier public school educators are under enough stress, without the added pressure of testing problems created by McGraw-Hill, and out-of state testing company.”
Current Superintendent of Public Education, Glenda Ritz, is not the target of the ISTA release. “It’s clear that testing procedures under this contract, which the current Department of Education staff inherited from the former DOE Superintendent Tony Bennett and his staff, needs to be fixed today.” said ISTA officials. “We cannot allow corporate interests and their inability to fulfill the rudiments of a basic contract to negatively impact Hoosier students, teachers and schools.”
Because state funding to schools is in part tied to performance, ISTA is also demanding that the problems that could result in flawed scores be considered. “ISTA wants proof from state leadership that educators will not be harmed economically in any way from ISTEP data compiled during this testing period.” said ISTA officials.
Carol Anders Correspondent