Education Leaders Face Challenge Cutting Off ISTEP Cheating

By Jeff Neumeyer

Education Leaders Face Challenge Cutting Off ISTEP Cheating

June 1, 2011 Updated Jun 8, 2011 at 6:01 PM EDT

INDIANA, (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Nipping ISTEP cheating in the bud.

It’s a tall task for Indiana’s Department of Education.

Nine different Indiana school corporations, including Fort Wayne Community Schools, are being investigated right now for testing irregularities on this spring's multiple-choice exam.

The issue being probed at Miami Middle School is whether one teacher taught specific social studies lessons after looking at a copy of the 2011 test.

In the Southwest Allen District, a Summit Middle School teacher got in trouble, and the social studies scores of 120 7th graders were invalidated, when the teacher allegedly changed her lessons after looking at the test.

The Department of Education had to throw out the writing scores of 83,000 students this spring, because a teacher briefly posted an essay question on a Facebook page.

Facebook can allow ISTEP cheating to get more out of control.

Lauren Auld/Indiana Dept. of Education: " And that's something that we're going to have to probably wrestle with continuously in the coming years. Technology definitely is not going away, so we're working with our vendor to try and see what the best way to handle technology is."

To try and head off cheating, the DOE sends the tests to school administrators about two weeks before the exams are given, with instructions that the test pamphlets are to be kept in one secure place, and are supposed to be monitored at all times.

Fort Wayne Community Schools has protocol calling for classroom teachers to get their hands on the test about 24 hours before the test is to be administered, so they can adequately prepare how to give the test instructions to students.

State education leaders say they plan to review the rules given to districts regarding maintaining ISTEP security.

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