FWCS board questions value of ISTEP

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Members of the Fort Wayne Community school board discussed ISTEP testing Monday night.

A presentation covered the preparations for the upcoming testing session, set to begin on Monday.

A stress test in January revealed problems with the computer system.

A follow-up test showed most of the issues were solved, but FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson, Ed.D. expressed concern about some glitches in the system, which may cause problems when testing begins.

Members of the board also talked about delays in getting results from the previous testing and the value of the state’s grading system.

“This is an absurd situation and until the tax payers become as fed up as the board of this school district, we’re going to have to live with it,” School Board President Mark GiaQuinta said. “I urge all citizens to get in touch with your legislators and demand and end to high stakes testing, which does nothing to better prepare our students.”

ISTEP has made headlines several times since the start of the year, from the testing glitches to a report about an official altering a study done about the test. There has been pressure from teachers on lawmakers over the effectiveness of the way the state accesses students and teachers.

“When a child should be discovering in the educational process is lost all they’re doing is studying to do well on a high stakes test. It’s taken away from what we call the joy of learning,” GiaQuinta added. “Public education, education in general, is not in a good place right now.”

The school board president also said the school system is “obligated to play the game” about the necessity of the testing in order to protect teacher pay and prevent a drop in the grading of FWCS.

In January, the House Education Committee approved a bill that would replace ISTEP testing with a new system for the 2017-2018 school year. That bill is up for discussion in the senate.


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