FWCS Delays ISTEP+ Citing Ongoing Tech Issues

Apr 29, 2014

Fort Wayne Community Schools is delaying the high-stakes ISTEP+ exam after problems surfaced with the online version of the test.

School officials announced the decision Monday after several days of interruptions and technology issues related to test provider CTB-McGraw Hill’s servers.

Students will now take the exam the old-fashioned way: with paper and pencil.

The decision means students will not only take the test in a different medium, but at a different date. Administrators say the new testing timeframe hasn’t been set, but will likely take place after Memorial Day.

FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson says while students were prepared to take the online version of the ISTEP, she expects they’ll take the change in stride.

“Kids are ready for tests if they have quality instruction every day. We don’t teach for the test,” Robinson said. “We teach the standards and the skills that will allow students to complete tests. So whether it’s online or paper-and-pencil, they’re still going to be tested over the same standards.”

This is not the first time Indiana school districts have had trouble with the online ISTEP+.

In 2013, FWCS reported more than 5,000 test interruptions, while more than 80,000 students reported interruptions statewide. The issues caused significant delays in reporting results while administrators worked to assess the validity of the affected test scores.