More ISTEP problems reported

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Once again, technical glitches frustrated Indiana students trying to take the standardized ISTEP+ test.

Indianapolis Public school students experienced a disruption Monday morning. By noon they were back online, but it was down for much of the morning.

IPS had to suspend testing Monday morning. Students continued their regular school day until they could take the test again.

"It certainly was a disruption and we've had too many of those already," said IPS spokesman John Althardt.

According to IPS, almost 14,000 in more than 50 buildings have been taking the test during the last two weeks.

Fifth-grader Denise Romero at IPS School 57 is one of the 13 percent of Indiana students who is still trying to complete the test.

"We have to stop taking the ISTEP and wait until the computers start working again," she said.

"Teachers have a lot of challenges in order to keep the kids focused. Having disruptions in the testing doesn't help," Althardt said.

The first week included multiple test disruptions for IPS and students across the state. Last week, testing continued with little disruption.

This marks the third week of testing, with a completion deadline of May 17.

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

"I'm worried about the 13 percent who haven't finished it," Althardt said.

The ISTEP problem has caught the attention of Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), the chairman of the House Education Committee. He said wants to see summer study committee on education take up the ISTEP problem this summer.

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