Local districts react to FWCS ISTEP decision

FILE. Students experienced thousands of problems last year during ISTEP testing.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) announced Monday afternoon that students will be taking the second round of ISTEP+ testing using paper instead of computers. However, representatives from the other three districts in Allen County, East, Northwest, and Southwest, said they will take their chances with online testing, even though they’re not thoroughly convinced there won’t be a repeat of all the glitches from last year.

Other school districts in Fort Wayne comment on ISTEP testing issues:

Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) Students began testing Monday. Superintendent Chris Himsel said so far, no ISTEP issues have been reported. However, following the announcement from FWCS, he said he would have welcomed paper testing.

“We were not given the option of paper testing,” he said. “We would have gladly done the paper testing option because it shortens the testing by about two weeks.”

Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) Superintendent Dr. Steve Yager said they’ve done a number of tests and have had all 1,800 middle school students run a practice test online during the same time period. Yager said they’ve encountered about three dozen problems and concerns, but all concerns have remedied.

“I have stated publicly I have no confidence in CTB to conduct a successful exam period for our students. As SACS reported to the DOE last year, 100 percent of our students taking ISTEP exams were negatively impacted due to the inability of CTB to fulfill their contract. I continue with a significant lack of confidence for a successful experience this year,” Yager told NewsChannel 15. 

East Allen County Schools (EACS) Spokeswoman Tamyra Kelly said they have had no widespread issues that have caused alarm. The majority of EACS schools will begin practice ISTEP testing this week. Operational testing begins Tuesday, May 6.

Many people in the community are supportive of the FWCS decision to do paper and pencil testing. Some parents think the traditional way of testing will eliminate some of the stress put on students.

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