Superintendent talks about invalidated ISTEP scores

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz
Published: .
Updated: .

A day after an independent testing expert suggested Indiana toss out nearly 1,400 ISTEP scores because of computer glitches, the state superintendent is talking about what parents and school should expect when all the scores are released on Monday.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz knows there is a lot at stake with the scores. Accountability is key, since students, teachers and schools all have a stake in the results.

When thousands of Indiana school children were interrupted by server problems while trying to take the ISTEP test last spring, many wondered whether the test scores would be validated. A half-million Indiana schoolchildren took the ISTEP test, but 1,100 of those in math and 260 in language arts will be invalidated.

"Most interruptions were in the area of math. If the student was invalidated, it might say a total score invalid, but we are reporting out all the information involving those in math," Ritz said.

Parents will be given a code through CTB/McGraw-Hill, where they can go online and access their child's student information.

"The aggregate of that turned out to be on par with growth we have seen in the last few years, so we are going to use the scores as the base for continuing data for school improvement, teacher evaluations and the scores for accountability," Ritz said.

There is only one more year of ISTEP before the state switches to a new test. Negotiations with McGraw-Hill on a settlement in the case is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Ritz is involved in a dust-up with Governor Mike Pence over the formation of the Center for Education and Career Innovation.

The superintendent says the governor did not notify her of his formation of the center, but Pence says he did. Ritz says her discussion about the issue is ongoing.

"Being notified of a press release is different than being notified about the creation of a new agency, so I think there will be continuing dialogue," she said.