ISTEP validity review nullifies more than 1,000 tests

Sep 5, 2013

Indiana education officials will throw out the results of 1,388 ISTEP exams because of the statewide disruptions to this spring’s online tests.  The move comes on the recommendation of a testing expert who reviewed nearly 79,000 interrupted tests.

There’s no way to know definitively how Indiana students would have scored had computer problems at testing company CTB/McGraw-Hill not disrupted online tests in April.  But the Center for Assessment’s Richard Hill says he made his best guess, comparing thousands of students’ test scores last year to their scores this year.

“We looked at how students performed on the test relative to how we would predict them to have performed given all the other information we had about them.”

On more than 1,100 interrupted math tests and more than 280 English tests, students scored short enough of Hill’s prediction that the New Hampshire-based testing expert asked state education officials to invalidate the scores.  That’s only a fraction of the tests flagged for review.

State superintendent Glenda Ritz says the Department of Education will still send a score report to teachers and parents.  But if a student’s score was thrown out, instead of having the student’s scale score, it will have a "V" next to it.

“That will say, you know, ‘this section of this test was determined to be invalid,’” Ritz says.

State officials plan to release ISTEP data to local schools on Monday.  That’s data educators would have otherwise had by the end of last school year, not the beginning of this school year. 

Kyle Stokes reports for StateImpact Indiana.