The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

July 29, 2013

Consultant: ISTEP glitches had no effect

INDIANAPOLIS – The testing expert hired by the state to determine the impact of computer problems that plagued the online ISTEP+ assessment said he was surprised by his findings that the computer glitches had no negative impact on student test scores.

Richard Hill, co-founder of the National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment, told the state’s Education Commission on Monday that student scores actually improved this year, despite repeated computer problems that pushed about 80,000 students offline while they were taking the high-stakes assessment test.

Hill said that the vast majority of students who took the test scored as well as they would have had the interruptions never happened.

It wasn’t news that many commission members expected, nor news that was particularly welcomed by Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who hired Hill in June and paid him $53,000 to do the study. Ritz has been critical of the weight given to ISTEP tests; they play a key role in teacher evaluation and compensation, and in the “A to F” rating system that gives a grade to every school in the state. Schools that consistently score poorly are at risk of being taken over by the state, while schools that score well are in line for more state funding.

“I was expecting to find several points lost at all grade levels,” Hill said, after the commission meeting. Instead, after analyzing ISTEP tests taken by all 495,000 students in grades 3 through 8 this spring, he found just the opposite: An across-the-board increase in test scores that almost mirror the increases of the past four years.

“I don’t know what the reaction is going to be,” Hill said of his analysis. “I’m sure it’s going to be one of general disbelief.”

It seemed that way among some commission members Monday, who grilled Hill about how he did his analysis and speculated that some students may have actually benefited by having their tests interrupted, giving them more time to figure out test answers.

Text Only
Local Education
  • Elwood schools seek election change Elwood Community Schools is seeking to change the process for the way that members of the school board will be elected starting with the November election.

    July 25, 2014

  • South Madison superintendent contract OK'd South Madison Community Schools officials Thursday unanimously ratified a new three-year contract for Superintendent Joe Buck, and approved textbook fees for middle and high school students.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy Madison County grad rates and test scores improve, but still lag state High school graduation rates and standardized test scores in English, math and science all improved among public school students in Madison County from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pay for South Madison soccer coaches under review An ad hoc parent group wants the South Madison Community Schools board to consider raising the stipend for Pendleton Heights High School soccer coaches.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • HHS class of '66 seeks classmates The Highland High School Class of '66 will host its 48th class reunion on Aug. 23. Contact information is needed for several classmates.

    July 19, 2014

  • Jottings: July 20 The following are brief Jottings items of local interest.

    July 19, 2014

  • AHS Class of '65 plans informal gathering The Anderson High School Class of 1965 will hold an informal 49th class gathering. The gathering will be Saturday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Shouts Sports Pub (Cooper's Sport Bowl), 1920 E. 53rd St.

    July 18, 2014

  • NWS - HB0129 - snyder photo - SU Ivy Tech president attends apprenticeships summit

    Fresh from a White House-sponsored summit on expanding apprenticeship opportunities in high-growth industries, Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder said some programs in Indiana are on the leading edge of that effort.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide