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Schools

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Families get ISTEP+ scores; schools wait

– The Indiana Department of Education released ISTEP+ scores to the families of students Monday but is still working on tallies for schools and school districts.

Parents can log onto a state website to receive individual test scores, which were posted Monday. But Daniel Altman, a department spokesman, said he expects the school and school district scores to be completed in the coming weeks.

The rollout of the scores, typically released around the start of summer each year, was delayed after widespread troubles this past spring with the online test built for the state by CTB/McGraw-Hill.

Superintendent Wendy Robinson said Fort Wayne Community Schools fielded many calls from parents Monday, many concerned about how to access and understand students’ test scores and others wondering why district information was not available.

During Monday’s school board meeting, Robinson encouraged parents to look online for additional information about individual scores and said the district would be releasing information about overall scores as soon as the Department of Education made those scores available.

Parents who do not have Internet access at home can use a computer at their child’s school to check scores, school officials said.

A report released in July found about 80,000 students in third through eighth grade had at least one part of the statewide standardized test interrupted when server glitches from a state contractor kicked them offline. That’s about 16 percent of all students who took the test.

The report’s author, Richard Hill, of the National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment, determined that the interruptions had little effect on the scores. He still recommended that about 1,400 results be thrown out to avoid tainting the other test scores.

The scores are used in calculating teacher pay and school funding, as well as school grades under the state’s A-F system.

Meanwhile, Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, is seeking $614,000 in damages from CTB/McGraw-Hill under provisions included in the state’s $95 million contract with the company.

President Ellen Haley apologized for the interruptions this past summer in a legislative hearing called to review the troubles.

Journal Gazette staff writer Julie Crothers contributed to this story.

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