istep-test-coverAfter months of delays in releasing the 2014-2015 ISTEP (Indiana State Testing for Educational Progress +), some schools are still questioning the validity of the results.

A joint press release signed by many superintendents said, “As the superintendents of the area schools, we would like to express our concerns about the results of the 2014-2015 ISTEP data recently released to parents and schools. We believe the data to be an inaccurate reflection of our students’ academic accomplishment and the quality of teaching in our classrooms.”

“The testing information does not just impact student’s academic record. It has a negative impact on teacher evaluations, compensation, and school accountability grades as well as the entire image of a local community.” The release stated.

The state of Indiana uses the ISTEP scores as a major part of a formula to determine if teachers can receive pay raises and to give schools and school corporations’ grades.

Speaking out on the scores were superintendents from Argos Community Schools, Culver Community Schools, Knox Community Schools, Oregon-Davis School Corporation, Triton School Corporation, Bremen School Corporation, John Glenn School Corporation, North Judson School Corporation, Plymouth School Corporation, and Union-North School Corporation.

The superintendents pointed to the changes made in the testing questions as one of the possible reasons for a drop in test scores. They said, “The test scores, as predicted by the Department of Education, show a significant drop in student achievement from the previous year. We believe the test did not accurately measure the student’s academic attainment. We believe that changes in the testing structure along with arbitrarily chosen cut scores are reflecting a false reality for our area and the entire state.”

They continued, “As schools across the state are reviewing the preliminary release of the 2014-2015 ISTEP+ results, we are finding that the percentage of students passing the exam has dropped as the result of Indiana’s botched system.”

Carol Anders Correspondent