ISTEP testing to continue Friday after technical issues this week

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Some Indiana students are back taking the required ISTEP standardized test after computer troubles caused them to be halted earlier this week.

The state Department of Education has asked schools for a second straight day to reduce the number of students taking the test by half to avoid more problems.

Agency spokesman Daniel Altman says that as of midmorning Thursday everything was running smoothly. Schools reported minimal interruptions on Wednesday.

An Indianapolis Public Schools spokesman says schools were asked not to test between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The reduced testing time Wednesday and Thursday pose a problem for the district with nearly 14,000 students in more than 50 schools, with some creative scheduling being needed to complete testing by the May 15 state deadline.

State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz told Eyewitness News Wednesday that the IDOE will be meeting with CTB/McGraw-Hill to discuss this week's failures and how it will affect the validity of the test. About 27,000 students were affected by the outage and there are concerns that the interruptions will have an adverse outcome on test results.

The state's $95 million contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill expires next year.

The IDOE issued this update Thursday afternoon:

Indiana Department of Education Update Regarding ISTEP+ Online Testing

Based upon assurances made by CTB McGraw-Hill, the Indiana Department of Education will continue ISTEP+ testing for Hoosier schools tomorrow, Friday, May 3. In order to minimize interruptions to students, the Department has again asked schools to reduce their daily testing load by approximately 50%. The Department has also extended the testing window by two days to May 17, 2013.

Schools have reported minimal interruptions throughout the day and as of 4:00 PM, over 345,000 testing sessions were completed statewide Thursday. In total, over one million testing sessions have been completed this week, roughly 41% of the total expected sessions for the ISTEP+.

Today, Superintendent Ritz continued to maintain constant contact with schools throughout the state as they navigate through this difficult situation. She remains committed to working with schools, students and parents to ensure that they have the time they need to guarantee all Hoosier students have the opportunity to take a fair test.