ISTEP testing glitches concern IN school officials - News, Weather & Sports

ISTEP testing glitches concern IN school officials

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Students at Clarksville Middle School Students at Clarksville Middle School
Scott Gardner, Clarksville Middle School principal Scott Gardner, Clarksville Middle School principal
Denise Steininger Denise Steininger

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - On consecutive days a computer glitch caused some problems for Indiana students taking the annual ISTEP test. Wednesday was a fresh start, however Clarksville Middle School they couldn't help but feel concerned.

The servers for ISTEP testing in Indiana schools crashed both Monday and Tuesday. On the third day, Scott Gardner, principal at Clarksville Middle, said the outage was frustrating and they can't help but worry about their scores.

"I'm comfortable with using the ISTEP results under a normal condition as an indication of our growth and progress," said Gardner. "I think we know what the measurement is, but this throws a monkey wrench into it. This could affect the validity of the scores." 

This time, Clarksville Middle lowered the load of how many students would take the test at the same time with hopes the server will stay afloat.

"Under advisement, we have adjusted," Gardner said. "We're not going to have 150 students testing at one time we're down to about 60 to 70. It's about less than 20 percent of our student population." 

Gardner said they can't avoid the change in scheduling.

"We are able to work inside the framework of our language arts and math classes," said Gardner. "That's nice but you still have to have a computer available for every student, when it's time to test, and that does change the routine." 

"It's a hardship on the students and the teacher because they have to rearrange schedules to do the ISTEP testing," said Denise Steininger, parent of a Clarksville Middle student. 

The shutdown was statewide and affected most major school districts. Indiana's Department of Education has allowed for an extension of time in testing if schools think they need it. Gardner said they're doing everything they can to make sure the tests do work out ok and they'll just have to wait and see. 

Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, has called the testing problems "unacceptable." Ritz said the state will work with schools to ensure they have the time they need to fairly administer the standardized proficiency tests.

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