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SBOE Decides To Give Online ISTEP Takers Extra Points

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Indiana schools are one step closer to seeing their ISTEP+ results from last spring. During their meeting Wednesday, the State Board of Education approved a system to differentiate between students who took the online and paper/pencil versions of the test.

To account for differences in difficulty between the two versions of the test, the State Board voted to award bonus points to students who completed the online exam.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz indicated last week that the Department of Education would need to consult with federal officials to see whether taking this kind of action would affect what Indiana is allowed to do with accountability measures under the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

Ritz says the feds okayed the state's score adjustment system, but the conversation about what Indiana does with accountability is ongoing.

“We'll begin to calculate performance of all the schools, and then we'll be attaching the growth component, whether there's penalty or bonus points for the schools, so more real definitive information and data will be coming forth, and then I think there will be more conversation,” Ritz says.

Test officials will now work to finalize individual student grades. Policymakers say they hope to have those scores to schools by December. Only after that will the board be able to calculate A-F accountability grades. 

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