Sunday, May 22, 2005

Spring ISTEP Testing: It's Baaaack.

It's Back. Governor Daniels has announced that he intends to push for Spring ISTEP testing by going through the Indiana State Board of Education now that he couldn't get it done during the legislative session.

For the life of me, what is the big deal about switching the state ISTEP test back to spring, again! We have way more important fish to fry than to disrupt the entire accountability structure through another testing change.

For one thing, at least one-third of Indiana's schools are members of the North Central Association (NCA). NCA uses a variety of assessments, including ISTEP, as statistical measures for analyzing changes in student achievement. When a testing switch is made in the middle of a school improvement cycle, it disrupts the school's accountability measures.

I haven't heard one rational reason for the change other than the fact that David Shane, the Governor's education policy advisor wants to. Shane says it won't cost more and we can just move to online testing. That announcement was met with hysterical laughter from everyone in the industry who heard it. It clearly shows that David Shane has never followed the CORE 40 Online Assessment pilot program. Most Curriculum Directors with CORE 40 testing responsibilities are now bald from pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to schedule hundreds and hundreds of students through computer labs within a narrow testing window. Most schools continue to give the tests in paper and pencil versions due to technology snafus. Imagining this on a statewide basis with millions of students taking online assessments is really comical.

Won't cost any money huh David? How about the millions of dollars in technology upgrades which will raise the CPF tax rates for the local patrons?

You're right - it won't cost more.............just like the legislature didn't raise taxes either.

Too bad the Governor won't use his elected Republican State Superintendent of Instruction for some sage advice.

Clearly there must be something else going on, besides the fact that testing at the end just sounds better to someone.

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