Amid failing ISTEP results, Indiana's superintendent calls for e - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Amid failing ISTEP results, Indiana's superintendent calls for end to test

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Indiana's state superintendent is calling for an end to ISTEP just as new test results are being released. 

The results are in and they aren't good. Overall, about half of Indiana's students failed the new, more rigorous exam.

"The way this test was changed and has been administered is unfair," Greater Clark County Schools superintendent Andrew Melin said. 

Local superintendents airing their frustrations now that last spring's ISTEP test results are public.

"It really was quite a nightmare," Clarksville Community Schools superintendent Kimberly Knott said. 

Just 53.5 percent of Indiana students passed both the Math and English/Language Arts Sections.

Locally, it's even more disappointing. 

In West Clark, just 44 percent passed; in Clarksville Community, 41 percent; Greater Clark, 47 percent; and in New Albany 59 percent of students passed both sections. 

"We anticipated our scores would be lower. And part of that is due to the new test and part of that is due to the administration of that new test," Knott explained.

In 2014, Indiana became the first state to pass a law doing away with the federal Common Core Education Standards, writing its own standards. Last year, students then took a new version of the ISTEP, but it's so different it can't even be compared to previous years' results. 

"It's sort of been one thing after another making the process more complicated than it needed to be," Melin said.

Superintendents say the results aren't a true indication of student performance or the quality of instruction.

Their complaints include:

  • There was no transition period or pilot for the new exam -- so teachers couldn't properly prepare students 
  • At the last minute, lawmakers forced the department of education to shorten the test -- to still a lengthy 12 hours
  • And there were glitches when students took it 

"During the administration of that test, our students were kicked off numerous times, test answers were deleted," Knott said.

Now, state superintendent Glenda Ritz is calling for the end of ISTEP testing. 

She says, "It's time for Indiana to move away from the costly, lengthy, pass/fail ISTEP+ assessment. The one-size-fits-all, high stakes approach of the ISTEP+ needs to end."

"These test results are not doing anything to help us in any positive way," said a Melin.

Students were also tested in the areas of science and social studies. 

You can see complete statewide results here.

You can see results broken down by school corporation here.

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