ISTEP testing was set to begin at the end of April, and for many schools districts that was the case. But Fort Wayne Community Schools had to delay the test for a few weeks due to computer glitches. On Thursday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz addressed the delay plus her plans for next year.
At least 28 schools in the district experienced network-related issues before administering the ISTEP test online. In 2013, about 80,000 Indiana students experienced similar glitches. This spring, FWCS opted to use pencils and paper for ISTEP instead of risking more technology freeze-ups.
Superintendent Ritz tells WFFT, "When we come across school systems or schools that are having difficulty and we don't think we can do it online, it is customary for us to do paper and pencil."
The test administrator, CTB McGraw Hill, is on its last year of a four-year, $95 million contract with the Indiana Department of Education. Superintendent Ritz says the state has not determined who the test provider will be in 2015. Next year will also be the last year the state administers the ISTEP test before switching to a new assessment system.
"New assessments will be college and career ready and we'll be transitioning from multiple-choice, choosing the right answer to students actually showing the answer. So a quick example would be then in a geometry question, instead of choosing the right answer, kids might actually manipulate shapes to give the answer," said Ritz.