Indiana schools working around ISTEP computer glitches - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana schools working around ISTEP computer glitches

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HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Indiana students today resumed taking the required standardized test called the ISTEP. Testing was shut down the past two days because of major computer glitches.

This is the first year that ISTEP has been all online, and it appears the vendor, CTB McGraw-Hill, has not been able to handle the capacity.

The company's servers shut down, and so did much of the testing.

These 8th graders at Henryville Middle school are fortunate. They were able to finish the ISTEP this morning, even though the school was forced to shut down testing for a time yesterday afternoon.

"The computer just wouldn't log in. It kept reading that it was a server problem," said Henryville's Testing Coordinator, Renee Eckart.

Though testing has resumed, principal Troy Albert says he's concerned about the remaining students finishing the test by the May 15 deadline.

"It's made it tighter as far as getting it done within a time frame," said Albert.

While Henryville has been able to work around the ISTEP problems, not so in other parts of the state and even in the West Clark School District.

"We had students that were sitting in front of computers waiting to get to the test, and I believe that really did create some anxiety on the students' part," said West Clark Assistant Superintendent John Reed.

Reed says West Clark is complying with the state's request to reduce the number of students taking the test at the same time. But he's hoping the state will extend the completion deadline.

"Because I don't know that we're going to be able to get everybody tested by the 15th," he said.

State funding and teacher salaries are riding on the ISTEP results, so it's critical to get it right.

"Validity and reliability of a test in any situation, especially when there's one high-stakes like this one, there's going to be a lot of questions about that," said Reed.

Back at Henryville, flexibility is the key; something the school learned last year when it was leveled by the March 2nd tornado.

"I think our kids are going to be more resilient than maybe some of the other kids in other schools," said Albert.

"Cross as our fingers. As long as everything works, we're going to be able to get them all in," said Eckart.

New Albany-Floyd County Schools says it also reduced the number of students taking the ISTEP today, and there were few problems.

No word from the Greater Clark school district.

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