Warsaw Community Schools is among many school districts throughout the state of Indiana appealing to have student’s ISTEP results reviewed following a server problem that created delays during test taking this year.
This year a total of 482,000 students completed the ISTEP examination. However, according to officials, 78,000 students were online taking the exam when server issues caused delays. The repeated interruptions that ensued as a result of these issues are believed to have potentially negatively impacted thousands of students scores throughout the state.
According to WCS Superintendent Dr. Craig Hintz, after reviewing WCS students ISTEP scores, the school corporation was requested by the Indiana Department of Education to examine score results and indicate students who were affected.
“(The server issues) have caused problems,” said Hintz. “Warsaw Community Schools was requested by the IDOE to indicate students who were affected. It was difficult to provide an accurate assessment, however, we have determined that all students were affected one way or another.”
Following the corporation’s findings, the IDOE contracted with an independent third party to investigate the validity of the test results. According to Hintz, it will be approximately 3 to 4 months until results are released as to the extent of the scores affected.
Though the ISTEP test result disruptions affecting teacher bonuses and evaluations has been a concern for several schools throughout the state, Hintz assured WCS will not allow this year’s test results to negatively impact staff. According to him, the teacher evaluation program implemented this year was in the first year of a pilot stage.
Though negotiations on the WCS compensation model are ongoing, Hintz noted ISTEP results will not be utilized in determining which teachers will receive bonuses and evaluations this year. According to Hintz, the determining factors on bonuses and evaluations will depend entirely upon what is negotiated on in the compensation agreement during the Fall.