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School Districts Experience Issues with ISTEP Practice Tests

Indiana schools preparing for next week’s spring ISTEP test say they’re already having problem with the practice exam. Last spring, computer glitches interrupted more than 30,000 ISTEP testing sessions. 

To prepare students and teachers for the ISTEP testing that begins next week, many districts in  Indiana administered a practice test Tuesday. 

Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista  Stockman says her district uses this practice test to find any problems with the school’s technology that  administers the test. 

Stockman says many Fort Wayne students were disconnected during the practice session.  These problems come after Oklahoma suspended statewide testing Monday because of computer  problems. Oklahoma’s standardized test is provided by CTB/McGraw-Hill, the same company that  provides the ISTEP to Indiana schools. 

Stockman says the news out of Oklahoma only worries her more going into the real test next week. 

“We know what happened last year, and we don’t want that to happen again," Stockman says. "Seeing that Oklahoma is  having issues sort of validates those fears for people.” 

Bartholomew County Schools Technology Director Mike Jamerson says their students also experienced  interruptions during the test. He says after last year’s fiasco he had representatives from CTB/McGraw-Hill visit their schools to make sure their computers could run the test and avoid these problems. 

“We saw these issues even at buildings where they said ‘the infrastructure is pretty sound here we don’t  see any reason you shouldn’t be able to test,’”  Jamerson says. 

A CTB/McGraw-Hill spokesperson says the computer issues in Oklahoma were because of a  company wide technology problem not specific to online testing. Testing in Oklahoma has resumed.  Indiana’s testing begins Monday.