ISTEP Security Breach Has Teachers Facing Legal Action

By Scott Sarvay
By Megan Trent

March 10, 2011 Updated Mar 10, 2011 at 1:18 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The teachers who leaked a question from the ISTEP test on Facebook will face legal action.

That’s according to Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett who says their investigation is zeroing in on teachers involved in the leak.

Bennett says, “The action of these teachers compromised 80,000 Indiana children.”

Bennett says the students will not be required to retake the test.

He says test vendors indicated that the cost to the state to rectify the situation could be $200,000 or more.

Last week several educators called the DOE office in Indianapolis reporting that they had seen a question from the 8th grade English Arts portion of the ISTEP test posted on Facebook.

Officials aren't releasing the exact question since some students are still taking the test, but according to our partners at WRTV in Indianapolis, it might have asked for student opinions on private school vouchers. The topic has drawn criticism by some who question the DOE's motivation, but DOE officials say exam topics were selected in 2009 and reviewed by several panels prior to acceptance.

"We're disappointed," says Lauren Auld with the DOE. "Teachers are there to support their students and we just wish it could have been handled in a more appropriate manner. We certainly are concerned about the students that might be impacted by this."

While decisions have to be made quickly due to federal funding deadlines, officials say their first priority is to figure out what is best for students.

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