Report: No Evidence of Erroneous Scores on ISTEP

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Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.

The Indiana Department of Education released the independent analysis of alleged scoring errors on the 2015 ISTEP+ test by CTB McGraw-Hill. The investigation was made following an anonymous allegation that a software glitch caused lower scores on the writing test for some students.

The independent panel says after reviewing the data provided by CTB, there was no evidence that students were erroneously given a lower score. The panel found no changes in student's scores on the writing section of the test before and after the software glitch.

“I am pleased that independent assessment experts found no evidence that the scoring process used by CTB McGraw-Hill negatively impacted student scores," said State Superintendent Glenda Ritz. "Unfortunately, due to the high-stakes nature of the ISTEP+ assessment, any doubt about testing validity causes a ripple effect through our schools and our communities."

The panel also concluded that the software glitch did not affect any other portions of the ISTEP+ test beyond the writing assessment. The analysis was conducted at the request of the Indiana Department of Education and staff for the State Board of Education.

“I still firmly believe that the 2015 ISTEP+ results should not be used to penalize teachers or schools," said Ritz. "Now more than ever, it is imperative that Indiana legislative and education leadership support a hold harmless approach for our teachers and our schools. Holding our teachers and schools harmless will allow us to recognize the great work of educators and schools that saw ISTEP+ scores improve, while also giving much needed flexibility to those that saw a drop in scores due to the state’s move to more rigorous standards.”

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