SACS to resume ISTEP testing May 6

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

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Southwest Allen County Schools will not try to resume testing until next week. SACS Superintendent Dr. Steve Yager posted on the district’s website that testing will resume on Tuesday, May 6:

“As of 2:00 PM today, the Southwest Allen County Schools have lost confidence in CTB McGraw Hill and their ability to successfully complete ISTEP testing this week,” the post reads. “Therefore, the schedule for ISTEP exams for grades 3-8, as well as IMAST assessments, will resume next Tuesday morning, May 6.  Again, thank you for your patience.”

SACS suspended testing on Tuesday after experiencing glitches that did not allow testing to be conducted. According to Dr. Yager, the issue is with the company that makes the testing software and not with the district.

“CTB McGraw Hill has researched some of our laptops that we have that are giving us problems or not permitting us to go on, and their interpretation is that it’s not our issue, it’s an issue with CTB McGraw Hill,” said Dr. Yager.

Still, leaders plan to stick with computer testing because they’d have to get special permission from the state to switch to paper and pencil tests.

“We’ve elected to stay with the computer side of things and not even request anything at this point. We’ll take a look next Tuesday, and assuming that things are corrected from CTB McGraw Hill’s end, we’ll continue on without problems,” said Dr. Yager.

SACS said they’re frustrated by the delay and hope a different company is used next year.

“We’re just very disappointed, disheartened, it’s not what’s best for our students, it’s not what’s best for our taxpayers. It hurts kids, and it hurts families. It’s a team effort any time we give high-stakes exams,” said Dr. Yager.

When asked whether or not the state plans to change the testing company for next year, Dr. Yager said it will depend on the new accountability system coming out.

“We’re moving forward to a new system, and we don’t know where that’s going to go yet. I would think this would not be a benefit to CTB McGraw Hill if they think they are going to be a candidate for the new testing system. I just think it’s something the state is going to have to address and address quickly and pay a lot of attention to,” said Dr. Yager.

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