FWCS Requests ISTEP+ Results Be Thrown Out (VIDEO)

By Kevin Kitt
By Corinne Rose

May 23, 2013 Updated May 23, 2013 at 5:58 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Administrators at Fort Wayne Community Schools say no matter what, they want the results of this year's ISTEP+ test thrown out. They say no outcome of the exam could possibly be valid.

“As much as we always want to see our students' scores go up, what we really want to make sure is that we know that when they take an exam, what the result is is accurate and is it truly measuring what they know? So, for us, if scores go up, but that's not a true reflection of our students' knowledge, then that doesn't do us any good," says Krista Stockman, FWCS Spokeswoman.

FWCS leaders want lawmakers to reevaluate the statewide testing system, and possibly pass new laws so that ISTEP is no longer tied to teacher evaluations or overall district effectiveness.

"We're speaking up now because we are hoping the state officials will take notice of this, that they will bring in an independent third party, but also that it will lead to a broader discussion on is this really how we want to be measuring everything when it comes to education in Indiana?" Stockman asks.

State schools superintendent Glenda Ritz acknowledges there were significant problems with -- and questions now -- about the exam.

"We're hiring a third party to actually help us through the validity process of the questions, and so we are in the midst of working with school corporations on the validity process of the actual test sessions themselves," Ritz says.

CTB McGraw Hill is the company that administers ISTEP+ in Indiana, its largest customer. Company spokesmen say they didn't fully anticipate the problems and regret them.

"We just expect that the state will hold the testing company responsible for really, just violating every protocol imagineable," Stockman says.

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