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The Scoop

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State teachers' group demands ISTEP assurances

Statement as issued Tuesday by the Indiana State Teachers Association:

After the second day of ISTEP testing problems created by McGraw Hill, the ISTEP corporate vendor, ISTA demands assurances that this fire/misfire, fire/misfire, fire/misfire testing scenario be addressed and fixed immediately. Under recent changes in state law, ISTEP no longer represents just student proficiency at a given point in time, but now drives school grades, individual teacher evaluations and, in a significant way, a teacher's compensation.

For those reasons, ISTA cannot overstate the importance of an "event-free" ISTEP administration for every student being tested.

Because of current "school reform efforts" Hoosier public school educators are under enough stress, without the added pressure of testing problems created by McGraw Hill, an out-of-state testing company.

The responsible party for these glitches - McGraw Hill, a corporation that makes millions of dollars from this state contract - needs to let Hoosiers know why the requisite pre-administration stress testing did not occur according to proper protocol. McGraw has a history of having problems administering ISTEP, but this year the problem appears to be much more significant. What is McGraw Hill doing in response to this very serious situation?

It's clear that testing procedures under this contract, which the current Department of Education staff inherited from the former DOE Superintendent Tony Bennett and his staff, need to be fixed today.

We cannot allow corporate interests and their inability to fulfill the requirements of a basic contract to negatively impact Hoosier students, teachers and schools.

ISTA wants proof from state leadership that educators will NOT be harmed economically in any way from ISTEP data compiled during this testing period.

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