ISTEP+ scores could be released in late August or early September

2013-08-08T18:30:00Z 2013-08-08T20:31:55Z ISTEP+ scores could be released in late August or early SeptemberCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

Parents and educators alike continue to wait for the 2013 ISTEP+ scores to be released.

The tests were administered in the spring, and the release of scores has been delayed as a result of the computer glitches experienced by schoolchildren across the state.

Merrillville parent Jan Pierce, who has a youngster at Salk Elementary School, is upset because the scores have not been released. Pierce said she'd like to know how her child performed before school starts Aug. 21.

Merrillville Community School Corp. Superintendent Mark Sperling said each time school leaders have checked the website, the scores have not been available.

"We'd like to get the scores back for planning, and we'd like to know the strengths and weaknesses of our students," he said. "It's very frustrating not being able to give parents and students this important feedback about where students are at."

Sperling said the latest communication from the Indiana Department of Education is that the scores could be released in late August or early September.

During an Indiana State Board of Education meeting Wednesday in Indianapolis, one teacher was angry about the delay because she said without the scores she doesn't know if her teaching strategies worked last year and has no way to gauge where her incoming students are performing academically.

Following the ISTEP+ computer problems, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz hired Richard Hill, of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, to review the results.

The report said the average negative statewide impact on scores was not measurable because of the efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents, along with the swift and decisive actions taken by Ritz. However, it didn't mitigate the effect the interruptions had on students, parents and teachers throughout Indiana.

Officials did not know definitively how students would have scored in the spring if the interruptions had not happened, according to the report.

In addition, the interruptions were not the only element that changed in the test administration this year, thereby adding a level of uncertainty about the root cause of changes when they occurred. However, the data suggest the majority of students scored as well as they would have had the interruptions never happened.

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