State suspends ISTEP+ testing



Indiana has suspended online ISTEP+ testing at schools across the state because of continuing problems with its vendor, CTB McGraw-Hill.

Problems that first surfaced Monday popped back up Tuesday morning at schools in Jackson County and elsewhere.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz suspended testing statewide Tuesday afternoon. Testing was expected to resume Wednesday.

“I am greatly disappointed to learn that Indiana schools had their ISTEP+ testing interrupted for a second consecutive day.  Like all Hoosier parents, students and teachers, I find these interruptions frustrating and unacceptable," Ritz said in a written statement. “We have been constantly monitoring the situation this morning.  Between approximately 7:30 and 11 a.m. over 150,000 test sessions were completed.  At approximately 11:15 a.m., there was a spike in test interruptions. 

“Because of these errors, I have instructed the Department of Education to suspend testing for the remainder of the day," she added. "This decision was not made lightly, but was done to minimize further disruptions for our schools.  All of our students deserve to take a test that is valid, accurate and reliable."

Ritz said CTB McGraw-Hill said testing will be able to continue Wednesday.

Brian Rodman of Seymour Community Schools said the morning started smoother than Monday, but the problems of computers losing connection resurfaced aroun 10:30 a.m., about an hour later than they appeared Monday.

"One building has suspended testing for the day," Rodman said. That building 2was Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, where students in grade three, four and five are scheduled to take the test this week.

"We got some makeups done and some new testing, but then the problems popped back up again," Rodman said.

Sister papers of The Tribune report similar problems with schools in Bartholomew and Johnson counties.

Daniel Altman with the Indiana Department of Education said Monday that vendor CTB McGraw Hill has promised to have the problem with its servers corrected by the start of school Tuesday morning.

The state reported that about 27,000 children were disrupted while taking the test Monday.

For the full story, see Wednesday's edition of The Tribune and watch for updates online at www.TribTown.com.

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