ISTEP testing resumes; fewer problems reported
By Christin Nance firstname.lastname@example.org May 1, 2013 10:46AM
Updated: June 3, 2013 3:16PM
ISTEP+ testing resumed Wednesday with schools reporting far fewer technical problems — issues that all but scrapped the first two days of online testing.
To ease server problems at vendor CTB McGraw-Hill, the state requested districts reduce their testing load by 50 percent.
Lake Central School Corp. Director of Primary Instruction Mark Kellogg said he “hadn’t heard a peep” by mid-morning.
“We’ve not reported any problems so far,” Kellogg said. “The state is checking results and CTB seemed to assure them that data for the students (that was interrupted on Tuesday) was not lost.”
On Tuesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz suspended testing after thousands of students reported computers freezing, getting logged out of testing sessions and having problems logging in. Similar problems occurred across the state on Monday.
The state may increase the amount above 50 percent as CTB McGraw-Hill resolves its technological issues. But the state requested that schools continue with the diminished capacity on Thursday as well.
Merrillville Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Mark Sperling said the state extended the ISTEP+ testing by an extra three days due to the problems, but it shouldn’t be difficult to finish testing all of the kids.
“I don’t know if we really want to increase the testing load,” Sperling said. “There are too many possible interruptions that could occur and it’s already a high-stakes test.”
The Indiana Department of Education reported that as of 2:45 p.m. more than 300,000 testing sessions were completed. Online testing is handled by CTB McGraw-Hill, which is also experiencing server problems with Oklahoma schools, according to The Associated Press.