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Panel: No evidence of ISTEP scores lowered

Posted at 10:48 AM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 17:22:31-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- There was no evidence that a glitch in the Spring 2015 ISTEP+ scoring caused students to have lower scores, according to an analysis by a panel of three experts.

The glitch and fight over the results caused a delay in the release of the scores.

The panel was composed of Derek Briggs at the University of Colorado, Wes Bruce, an independent consultant, and Edward Roeber of the Michigan Assessment Consortium.

The panel found that "there does not appear to be a discernable impact of this scoring glitch on overall scores given to students' responses."

READ | Check out the full report

In a statement in response to the panel's review, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said the doubt of the validity of the test scores causes "a ripple effect."

"Now more than ever, it is imperative that Indiana legislative and education leadership support a hold harmless approach for our teachers and our schools," Ritz said. "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.”

A spokeman for Governor Pence released this statement in response to the report:

"Governor Pence is grateful to the Indiana Department of Education for undertaking this investigation. While the results of the report are encouraging, the governor will continue to listen to local educators and school leaders to inform his discussions with the Indiana General Assembly. The governor appreciates that this is a transition year and he will continue to work with legislative leaders to ensure that test scores do not affect teacher bonuses or compensation and that schools are treated fairly."

Despite the update, Greenwood Superintendent Kent DeKoninck says he has little confidence in this year's results.

It's why he says the legislature shouldn't be working just to protect teachers, but it should be working to protect schools when it comes to how the scores impact them.

"We're at the point where there's just no confidence in the test itself," DeKoninck said. "This last year has really been a debacle. No one seems to have faith in those results. Why are we going to continue to grade schools and school districts when no one seems to have faith in those?"

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