NewsMarshall County superintendents of area schools have joined in with all 43 members of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS) District 1 to ask both the Indiana General Assembly and members of the State Board of Education to support HEA 1395 that calls for the end of the ISTEP+ testing at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

In a letter sent to legislators, the Superintendents shared their concerns over the use of a “one-time” test. Included in the letter was the following: “While we are firmly committed to accountability at every level, we believe the high stakes ISTEP+ assessment system that is used to measure student achievement, evaluate teacher performances and effectiveness, and grade our schools, does not accurately reflect the teaching and learning that takes place every day in our public schools.”

Among others concerns, the educators point to the delay, as much as six months, of receiving scores from the tests that are now given in the spring each year are useless in planning.

Each year for the past two years, the state has changed the test content. The superintendents claim the changes did not give educators adequate time to “retool” curriculums and other instruction methods. Results from those testing years show lower test scores that ultimately led to lower school and corporation grades.

Schools and corporations receive in part an A-F grade each year based on the ISTEP+ scores.  The superintendents are seeking to have that grading system suspended as it was last year.

The superintendents said, “If the objective of our state’s high stakes accountability system is to accurately report student achievement to the public, then the data from the currently flawed system must not be used.”

Marshall County Superintendents endorsing the letter include: Michelle Riise, Argos Community Schools; James White, Bremen Public Schools; Chuck Kitchell, Culver Community School Corporation; Donald Harman, Oregon-David School Corporation; Daniel Tyree, Plymouth Community School Corporation; and Donna Burroughs, Triton School Corporation.

Carol Anders Correspondent